The rain changed everything. Two days, two events. On Saturday B and I spent a sunny afternoon at a small community event in East Wall that featured a local band. We watched and danced and laughed.
On Sunday we went into town to go to a heavily advertised country music festival in Smithfield Plaza. But it was raining. After weeks and weeks of blue skies and hot sun, the weather broke, the skies turned grey, and the rain fell steadily all day long.
A bit of rain never stopped us, and we didn’t think it would stop anyone else either.
As we neared Smithfield, I told B to listen to the music, as you could hear it very clearly. Too clearly, I thought.
I was right to wonder, because as we turned into the Plaza, a sea of damp grey cobbles stretched in front of us, with just a handful of diehard and bedraggled music fans awkwardly tapping their toes in the empty space in front of the stage. Their cowboy hats droopy and soggy, their boots piebald with rain. Plus a couple of families huddling under umbrellas. And us. Of course we enjoyed it. Not my usual taste in music, but this was live music and that alone makes it special. And it was free too!
Perhaps that was the problem. If you don’t pay, you can stay away, especially if it rains. And stay away they did.
But you know what? It was a privilege to be there. They were professional musicians. They could have been playing to 20,000 people instead of 20. They chatted to the very small audience, joked and played and sang as the rain tipped down.
In a way it was awe inspiring. It can’t have been easy for them. But they just kept on playing anyway.