I went this week to an outdoor jazz concert with a stunning, sweet friend of mine. We lolled on rolling grass and sipped our way through the evening, encased in a summer eve's blue dome. Near the end of the concert, a plump moon lifted off from the hill behind us. Guess she wanted to see what was going on.
Outdoor concerts are my favorite. People just seem to be more attuned to relaxing and having fun. For most folks, weather conditions aren't a huge factor. Last year, my daughter and I danced to the Gypsy Kings in light rain...didn't matter. A few years earlier, she and I savored B B King playing at the same gorgeous location. It rained, soft brush of moisture, on us for most of the concert. B B King encouraged us to endure the wet, telling us that "pain is part of the blues."
This summer I get to go to at least three more outdoor shows: Pink Martini at the Portland zoo, Doobie Brothers at Edgefield, and Ozomatli near the Seattle Space Needle. This trio of outside shows is going wrap my musical summer up nicely.
I've been thinking about the pleasure of outdoor music and that led me elsewhere: to those activities that we typically do indoors, activities that take on special meaning when we do them outside. I recall the giddiness of sleeping out as a child, stuffing ourselves into our flannel sleeping bags in the back yard, trying to stay awake as long as possible, digging deeper into the cocoon as the temperatures dropped, then waking up cheerily with the sun. I recently posted about sleeping outside in my hammock: pure heaven. My wonderful grandnieces have been sleeping outside, with their folks, on a big trampoline. How fun is that!
Sleeping's not the only activity that's more fun outside than in. Dining, reading, knitting, chatting, playing games...they are all embellished on a stage of tree and sky. When my mom and I join my sis and her husband at a beautiful beach-side house in California, we set up jigsaw puzzles on the deck. Somehow the marine vista improves our puzzle-solving skills. Must say that knitting in my back yard, plunked in a gorgeous Adirondack chair my late husband made, feet perched on a stool, totally surrounded by green that's punctuated with white, magenta, deep violet, and baby pink blossoms, is one of my favorite things to do.
Yes, the outdoors is made for human activities. I'm wanting to expand my realm of fresh air things to include taking a shower. Several designs for an outdoor shower are floating through my imagination. My favorite so far is a wooden frame filled with river rock (for drainage)from which rises a tall pipe and shower head. Don't really want a "curtain," so will have to figure out how to provide needed privacy. Showering outside is a fabulous way to get clean. My late husband and I did that often, whether it was while backpacking, enjoying the incredible pleasure of warm water from our solar showers or while traveling in our truck and camper. He would turn the water heater on and, within an hour, find a perfect place for us to shower, using the external shower on the camper. My goodness, does showering outside at 9,000 feet, in the pines with no one within miles, feel fabulous! As does shampooing in high desert, with thousands of acres of stunningly stark vista as the backdrop!
Outside. I like the idea of taking it outside, no matter what the "it" is. I'll treasure these outdoor times and will reluctantly take my activities inside as the planet tilts toward the cold.