Have you ever had a day that was so freaking amazing that as you drive home, or lay in bed thinking about it, a huge smile spreads across your face and a gleeful giggle escapes?
Today was one of those days.
It’s a perfect 80 degree sunny day with a slight breeze – just enough to blow your hair around to make it look like you’re on set of a sexy photo shoot, and keep the heat from becoming uncomfortable. I had just finished a meeting with my new marketing company, celebrated the relationship with a glass of champagne, and walked outside into the cobblestone courtyard of downtown Springfield.
Sitting off to the side were three very scrawny, yet decadently-clad young people.
The young man had a tie-dye tshirt, pigtails, and a tattoo on his face reminiscent of Mike Tyson – I shit you not. Except, I have to say, this young man’s face art had a little more flair to the design of it. Added to his personal belongings, he held a small guitar that he quietly strummed as the girls, who were with him, chatted to each other.
The two young women were looking as though they hadn’t had a meal in weeks yet they smiled; their spirits not broken.
They had a style that spoke to the glamorous side of my heart!
One was wearing a pink taffeta, cocktail-length prom dress coordinated with black combat boots without laces. The other was in a green satin & black lace gown that showed off her matching hiking boots & white tube socks, and holding a banjo.
About to walk past them toward the parking garage, I remembered something musician Amanda Palmer said during her concert I just attended a month earlier.
Now, dear reader, I can’t remember the exact words but the gist of the message was that people get the opportunity to experience art, and many walk by without even acknowledging it. Amanda’s message was much more profound than I have inadequately expressed in this blog, but I can tell you this, it resonated deeply with me – into a feeling and action, rather than words.
I knew I couldn’t walk by these young folks.
With this purpose, I stopped in front of them and asked, “Do you have a hat?”
“A hat?” came their confused reply.
“Yes, for me to put money in so you can play for me.”
(I admit, the champagne probably played a part in the delivery of this conversation.)
The seemingly homeless fairy in the pink dress looked at me with a big smile and said,
“I don’t have a hat, but I have a pocket!”
Deal done, payment made, the gypsy in green jumped up, banjo in hand and asked, “What would you like me to play?” You could tell she was eager for the opportunity and (I would like to pretend) delighted that someone took interest. We decided on ‘Bobby McGee’ by Janis Joplin.
Wow! I was NOT sorry.
This girl sang her heart out beautifully! My fairy in pink taffetta twirled and harmonized, and my tie-dyed friend with pigtails played the guitar, humming along in all the right places.
I stood there with my friend, living in the moment of this gorgeous sunny day, taking in the sights and sounds that were offered for a meager two dollars and a simple request. We swayed, we clapped in time, and as the five of us together enjoyed our moment, the outdoor guests of the restaurant next to us began to take notice.
One by one, they stood up to watch and listen, to also experience this joy. Some took pictures. I looked around and I saw that a crowd had gathered. People who were walking by, stopped.
And felt the same magic I did.
At the end of it, I clapped and I thanked my entertainers for their gift, and gave them more money – the amount I would have spent on a concert ticket at the Calvin Theatre, because honestly,they were worth it. If I didn’t have another event that I was already on my way to, I would have stayed and listened to them all night!
Full of surprise, my pink princess in combat boots exclaimed, “Are you serious?! We can eat tonight!” And the gypsy queen in satin & lace gave me a big hug of gratitude.
Do I think they were actually going to spend the money on food? I really don’t care. It was their’s to spend however they chose, they earned it.
When I got home, I told Scott about what transpired and before I could tell him the real ending, he tilted his head to the side and said, “Leanne, did you pack them up in your car and bring them to your event with you?”
No…but I wanted to!