Charm of the night
The summer night has left the evening of its adolescence to enter the darkness of its maturity. Majestic and fully inspired, it extends its light veil of clouds, still hiding nothing of the nakedness of its immense and infinite starry sky. The full moon is at its zenith. Behind a delicate veil of cloud, it has the feline glance of a girl in love, who is pretending not to see you when she only has eyes for you… The breath at my window, invigorated by the subtle summer scents of the meadows is like arms wide open inviting me to share the moment. Pure beauty…! Much more peaceful than days, nights carry and spread the soft babbling dreams of the humans who have left the frenzy of their complicated world for a restful sleep.
Assisted by the silence of the universe and the chant of the inhabitants of the woods and the fields, it hums a relaxing, magical and hypnotic symphony that rocks us in its arms.
The many mysteries of the night attract me. Surrendering to its charm, I decide to savor it in the forest. Except that today, it’s not the night I am meeting with but my son.
The metal tribe
‘Coz my boy is performing a concert in the middle of the woods. In this odd location, along with Seb, his pal who plays the guitar, they will be taking part in a heavy metal (and stoner) festival. I’m so happy to be able to witness their progress and their artistic performance once again. I will also get to meet and mingle with his marginal friends, who over the years, have become mine as well. A whole tribe of regulars attend this kind of event. They’re at odds with a society that insistently tries to brainwash everyone, and they’re looking for something else. I so understand their cry, and actually, I do have “something else” in me.
And if I enjoy the road leading me to them, it’s mainly due to the journey, because I’m not going on my own.
Exhausted by the day to come and unable to resist, my wife has already fallen asleep in her cozy bed. I kiss her goodnight and like a jolly little fellow on a good blow, I tiptoe away.
I’m so used to the walls of my house that I don’t even see them anymore. It feels good leaving for someplace with no walls at all. Doing things the other way around, I enter outside and disappear in the night.
Trail in the night
There are several woods to cross before reaching my destination, so I take my car. I drive very slowly in order not to disturb the penetrating atmosphere of the place, windows wide open to absorb it better. The air is mild. Usually, at this time of night, I’m already in the fascinating land of dreams. And for sure, part of me is dreaming, even though I’m awake. I’m inclined to say it’s because of the immense presence of the humble person accompanying me.
God… Above all, this journey is an opportunity to spend a special moment with Him. Although He’s invisible, He’s so much more real and there, than any of my visible friends.
It’s the reason why the journey often becomes more important than the destination.
Behind the wheel, with Him, I realize I’ve been longing for this moment all day. I slow down to make it last…
I hadn’t even realized that I needed to get some apparently ordinary everyday matters off my chest. The relief that follows makes me understand that every situation I handed over had been a source of undetectable stress wrapped in some “make do” I hadn’t discerned.
There is no sign to show the way to the festival. (hahaha! I recognize the team’s erratic organization! Hmm, okay… I’m not the most focused person either and I might’ve missed it…). As I follow prehistoric paths, I have a doubt: Is it the wrong night or am I just lost?
I turn the engine off, in order to hear my destination better…
-Ah!!! On my left… music! Phew!
The closer I get, the clearer it becomes. From below I can see multicolored light glowing from a cabin in a meadow. My deduction is that’s where I’m trying to go.
-Hey! but I’m not heading in the right direction!
The sound, making its way between hills and valleys, is playing tricks on me. Following my heart and the music, I take a most narrow and rocky path. Only when I come across some people on their way back, am I heartened.
The first person I see when I reach the cabin is my son and his joy at my sight. I spot his sister immediately, my little darling, with her husband and my son’s young bride (they married a month ago). As I approach the stage, I joyfully say hello to all my buddies and all the long-haired youths I don’t really know but I do recognize. (Oh! how I love these kids!).
Beyond the audience
Super concert! The audience is unanimously admirative, though no one can see my son as completely as I do. They only enjoyed what blew up in their faces, when I could see deep inside him.
To me, all his previous concerts are superimposed and I can appreciate them all, down to the very first one which occured in our small kitchen. Our bumblebee was just taking his first steps then, and started banging on pans for our greatest joy.
I can still see him at six, his shining eyes lighting up ours the day we bought him his very first drums with what was left of our savings.
I remember when as a kid he used to accompany me at church. I played the guitar and I was concerned that he might not be able to keep up with the beat (during our Saahsal* rehearsals, he’s the one worrying for me now…).
I can remember everything! When he was allowed to stay up late in order to follow our concerts or rehearsals and when, between two songs our former drummer taught him his secrets.
I can still see the whole family scattered in the dawning audience, hidden in the crowd, to attend the first concert of his group who used to rehearse at home. Sure, the compliments were for them, but they made me even happier than if they had been for me.
And long story short, I still have in heart (which works better than my mind), I have in heart practically all the gigs that followed.
Arm in arm with my daughter, just like every time, we dance our joy of being there together.
After hugging everyone warmly, I quietly slip away, softly sliding downhill to my cozy bed. Whatever dreams I am about to reach, I know they will never compete with the ones I’ve just left.
A dad’s gaze
I admit I might not be honest when speaking of my son… but I am, concerning what I feel. And what’s true is, had my son (or any other of my children) been physically or mentally disabled and totally unable to perform such artistic skills, I would’ve been just as proud. If all he had been able to make was a noodle necklace, I would wear it like a beautiful piece of jewelry. Because that’s what we dads are made of…
– Isn’t that correct, my Dad/God who is in heaven?
You’re like that, more than any of us. You’re there at every important moment of our lives. Careful not to disturb, mindful and discreet, you follow us everywhere… And hidden in the crowd, Your heart for Your children pounds even louder than mine.
*Saahsal is our band with my wife, my son Silas and 2 other friends.
To listen to Silas’ music:
Mouche-miel (his “math-metal-cheese” band):
Family Band & Co:
Find more of the author’s meditations in his book
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