Given all the seriousness of the past few months, I've had a bit of an urge to regress as of late, to cling to an earlier era before body parts started aching, before I had to grapple with adult things like death, before I had a serious job requiring Business Casual.
This has expressed itself largely in harmless ways, like going to drum circles and dancing my aging heart (and back, and neck, and right piriformis) out.
It also meant going away one weekend to a hippie music festival near the Shenandoahs in Virginia, for no other reason than that I needed to cut loose, be a free spirit, do the kind of thing that I used to do as a matter of course when I was in my 20s but feel so distant from, now that I live a much more settled life and have an employed Swiss fiance, and a job (or three), and a car that I drive, but do not live in.
The festival was held at a beautiful campground with a large clearing surrounded by forest, fall foliage just past its peak.
I camped with my old friends from that hippie band I used to play in, up on the hill above the clearing.
There was a stage for the jam bands and grungy bluegrass acts to play on,
and a bunch of grizzled old musicians and professional festival-goers living in amazing contraptions that I didn't know existed anymore.
A friend of my buddy Eric was there with his wife and kids in their enormous camper, with vintage interior decor that our friend's wife did herself.
My sleeping accommodations were nowhere near that deluxe. But the Honda Fit made a surprisingly cozy dwelling during the coldest night of the year so far, with temperatures in the upper 20s, and I was glad to have a car to sleep in.
It was good to spend a night under the stars, alone in my mini-mini van, with no one else to worry about or take care of.
But one night was enough, and the next day, after warming up in the sun with my buddies and some instant oatmeal, I was ready to drive back home and face the adult world--with its family responsibilities, jobs, a real house with a real bed, and of course those dogs--once again.