Remember the story about the little girl who played the piano at a recital and kept going despite obstacles and mistakes?

My turn – and what an adventure!

Last week my friend Sarah stayed with us for a few days. We had a grand time. The first evening, Keith treated us to tapas at Aioli in Staunton. We dined and chatted while a cloudburst sent streams of water down Augusta Street. After dinner, Sarah and I walked arm-and-arm under an umbrella with Keith behind us shrugging off the sprinkles. At the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriar Theater, we enjoyed an excellent performance of The Winter’s Tale.

The next day, Sarah and I had lunch at Basic Necessities and stayed the afternoon talking our heads off. Upon our return, I discovered our air conditioning system had clogged – a quick and dirty fix. We had half an hour until leaving the house to join friends for supper and a concert. While Keith changed his clothes, I tried to call and report our delay but couldn’t get a good cell phone connection and hung up.

Dinner was lovely, our friends charming and forgiving hosts. The smell of steaks sizzling on the kitchen grill wafted into the dining and living rooms as we sipped our wine. We had a good laugh about my frazzled non-phone call. I shrugged off being a little underdressed and my hair – flat on top and a mass of humid frizz around my head.

After dessert, we proceeded to the Wintergreen Performing Arts’ Wild Wednesday performance of the Rootstone Jug Band. As we walked into the pavilion, I saw two women I knew from Bible Study. I stopped to say hello and introduce my husband. In my distraction, I called one of the women Sarah. Her name is Peggy. Thank goodness, she corrected me.

Soon after we sat down, five young musicians took the stage, and we settled into a delightful, down-home concert. Acoustic and slide guitars, banjo, string bass, washboard, kazoo, jug and vocals had our toes tapping, heads nodding and hands clapping to the music.

Then faces looked up and fingers pointed. A large hummingbird with a long beak – one of the largest hummingbirds and longest beaks I’ve even seen – was flying around, trapped inside the tent. The bird took off, hovered and fluttered between the back of the tent to the large rafter in the middle. Sometimes it perched on a wire beyond the middle ridge as if it might venture forward, towards the tent doors. But then it would continue its frazzled flight back and forth.

“Oh my goodness! Why doesn’t that bird keep going?” Sarah said.

“Yeah, I know,” I replied. I’m sure we were not alone in our observation. There was nothing to be done except immerse ourselves in the music and company, which we did with hoots and hollers.

As we left the pavilion that evening, I heard our host say, “We’ll leave the tent doors open so the hummingbird might fly out tonight.”

Perhaps when they turned off the distracting stage lights, the bird would focus on the guiding lights of earth and sky. Maybe it would keep going and have a grand time like us.


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