Sunday, September 22, 2013

Four Albums for a Healing Heart

This time last September, my Dad was recovering at home from his first hip replacement surgery. My mom was with him, of course, and I spoke to her almost daily on the phone, checking in. They told us not to worry, to have fun on our little anniversary trip, which had been scheduled since March. So we went and said we'd visit in a few weeks, in October.

This time last September, Gaines and I were spending a long weekend in Nashville at an annual retreat called Hutchmoot, a conference of sorts for like-minded (though not at all alike) music-lovers, artists, writers, storytellers and songsmiths. Where do we fit in? I suppose we are just appreciators, connoisseurs. We were certainly soaking it all in that weekend, enjoying the conversations and the company.

This time last September, on Saturday, we found ourselves sitting on folding chairs under a tent outside the church where a large crowd had gathered. On a sun-soaked, crisp afternoon, the dappled leaves on the trees around us just beginning to be touched by fall, we relaxed and relished in the stories and heartfelt songs of one of our favorite musicians: Eric Peters. An impromptu concert, one of the many "sessions" available for our attendance, would become one of the highlights of our weekend. He took requests, he fumbled and tuned and told stories. He was so honest about his struggles, sharing more than I had realized about a hard year he'd had. Little did I know, I was about to have one of my own.

Less than two and a half weeks after that September Saturday in 2012, my mother passed away from a heart attack. Into this sudden void I poured the music that had most recently touched me: Andrew Peterson, Eric Peters, Andrew Osenga, Matthew Smith. I suppose I should tell you about them. Not their stories, exactly, for they belong to them, but more of mine. About how particular moments in their music have become balms for my soul. Within those two weeks before my mother's death we had seen them all live, in concert, the last show just days before she died. Apparently, I needed these fellow travelers to speak into my life more than I realized. But the Lord knew that.

And so, I want to share them all with you, one at a time, stopping along the way and asking you to listen. I suppose this is my way of saying thank you to them.

For now, I'm just going to share a list, with links. Peruse as you will.
Andrew Peterson's Light for the Lost Boy
Eric Peters' Birds of Relocation
Andrew Osenga's Leonard the Lonely Astronaut
Matthew Smith's  Watch the Rising Day