Summer Sweetness

The gentle humming of cicadas swells and diminishes above the backdrop of crickets steadily chirping. Tomatoes are ripening and weighing heavy on the vines. Asters and goldenrods paint the fields purple and yellow. Meteor showers create heavenly light shows in the night skies. Songs are sung on river shores, at outdoor festivals, and around glowing campfires. Humid air as thick as molasses slows us down enough to be able to notice the moment of the season.

I always love this time of year, perhaps because I was born in late August, even though childhood excitement for my birthday was often mixed with the trepidation of returning to school.

Gratefully my school years are over and I can simply enjoy the sweetness of summer in the season’s final month. There are many wonderful musical fruits that are ripening from the year’s labors, and I am excited to share them with you, my community of supporters and friends.

Over the coming weeks I will participate in two of my favorite music festivals – both which happen to take place on farms – Hollerfest last weekend in Brooklyn, Michigan and the Earthwork Harvest Gathering later this month in Lake City, Michigan. Allison and I will perform together as Spirits Rising in each of these festivals and I will also perform children’s music sets.

Allison and I designed a new website for Spirits Rising, www.SpiritsRisingMusic.com, which allows you to stream our songs for free! Give them a listen and let us know what you think.

I am continuing to work on Diversity, one of two new children’s albums in production. In light of the many disturbing examples of persistent racial prejudice and hatred in our country, I am approaching this album with a renewed sense of purpose. It is my hope that these songs will help open the minds and hearts of young people in ways that encourage them to recognize their common humanity and interconnections with those who are different from themselves.

I also have the wonderful opportunity to participate in a concert on September 11th in New York City for Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen spiritual teacher and peacemaker who continues to recover from a stroke that occurred last fall. I am excited to be part of this concert and to share my music as an offering for peace and healing for Thich Nhat Hanh, for our country, and for the world.

I am grateful for the happy harvest that is happening and for the grace to be able to receive the season’s bounty. Let’s enjoy this finale of summer!

Love,
Joe

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