i do not have words to describe last weekend. and i still cannot understand the range of emotions that coursed through my body over that expanse of four days beneath the twinkly lights of las vegas.
i had gone to see one of my favorite artists. one that i had seen long ago, but still tempted me to turn the radio on blast every time his melodies sung out. and it did not hurt that the rest of the lineup could top country’s highest charts.
i went with some friends. and we sang. and we danced. and we ate copious amounts of fair food under the hot nevada sun while we stomped around in our boots. some of them were from a small illinois town like me, where country music would always please a crowd. and some were just there for those little too short daisy dukes. but we welcomed them anyways.
that is the thing about country music. it brings people together. it tells the story of humanity. joy, pain, new love and lost, planes, trains, and the continual exploration on, and more than one mentions their dog. but the important part is that it tells the story of hope. a story of pride. a story of strength. a story of community. a story that refuses to be untold.
one man did the unthinkable last weekend.
and i am still having a hard time understanding the depth of planning and preparation required. i want to know what he was thinking as he watched us dance through his scope for two nights. and why he finally pulled the trigger on the third.
i will never forget the fear of running. my high school track coach would have been proud of my speed. but i also will not let that fear run me.
there are so many answers that my heart yearns to hear. and the most demanding one is why. i know they will come with time.
i also know that it is not his story that will be told. but it will be a story of pride. a story of strength. a story of community. a story of hope. and it will be sang to a little banjo tune.
oh. and there was this swing at the festival too. one of those ones from your childhood county fair. as you would spin round, there was a breathtaking view of the strip. it left you inspired and illuminated and thrilled to see just a little bit more more. i choose to remember that sight from my last weekend in las vegas.