So THIS is what the country is like! We attended our first Jamboree as a family on Saturday. What fun! We brought our own chairs, water, and zero expectations. I had read about this, I'd seen it on TV, but I'd never experienced it for myself. My 3-yr-old immediately picked up a stick and started hitting the ground and drawing in the dirt, and then pretended it was an instrument, and blew on it, keeping time with the band. The band was a guitar, Ukulele, a large stand-up bass, a "fiddle," and a banjo. The songs were old folk songs, some of them I'd heard before, most I hadn't. My daughter loved the music, but was shy about dancing. My son pulled me up there and we danced until he dropped, then I danced with the baby until he spat up, and then my daughter got into it finally, and copied the flat-footers, and eventually, we lost all inhibitions and had the time of our lives, dancing together! Even Grampa got up and danced a little. The flat-footers, cloggers, and tap-dancers were excellent, but we just kept time and had fun.
Next to me at one point was a couple dancing a slow dance with some complicated foot-work, together. They must have been in their late 60s or early 70s. I noticed they were up there for every slow song. The man gently led his wife with a soft hand on her back. They were in jeans, but to me they looked like a prince and his princess.
At one point, much to her embarrassment, she lost the rhythm; I looked at her husband's face; I looked for annoyance or frustration; he didn't so much as flinch as he maintained his own rhythm until she caught up, which she was able to do by relaxing into his his never-faltering rhythm, and gentle embrace.
I learned something about marriage from their example. After all, marriage is very much like a dance, is it not? A still small voice spoke to me. It said: "When your spouse stumbles and loses his way in life, even when he has no one but himself to blame; instead of judging, giving up on him, criticizing, or scolding, you just keep time on your own, with a soft hand on his back, he will learn to trust in your rhythm. Let him see your unfaltering eyes, and gentle embrace. He will find his way back quickly."
The goodness and humility in everyone's eyes, whether they were friendly, stubborn, held-back, or outgoing; told me that this is a wonderful place to be raised. Universal morality, simplicity, self-confidence, caring about others; this was the sort of town that would pitch in and help the 'So-N-So' family build a new home after it burned down.
This is the sort of town that shuns Wal-Mart and big movie theaters, yet has about 20 natural food stores. If I could describe Floyd in one word, it would be "ORGANIC." If they could describe me in one word, it would probably be "naive."
I feel as though I have come home to this place I am completely foreign to. My children drank in the country experience, and embraced it with an expression I have rarely seen on their faces-- relieved, almost giddy relaxation. Something about this place is healing to this once materialistic, rushed, anxious family.