Ken: Take a deep breath and then let it out. Does that feel good? Then do it again.
Deni: Yeah, you have to enjoy each moment.
Sarah: Zzzzzzz .....
That’s what’s on my mind as the day breaks sunny and warm here in The Netherlands. I’m thinking about gratitude partly because Canadian Thanksgiving was on the weekend and partly because yesterday we finally had a chance to reflect.
This tour has been a whirlwind. I’ve already written about the tour time warp and how yesterday disintegrates behind you and all of that stuff. I define the drives and the schnitzel and doing laundry as mundanities, but I never want to suggest that I’m becoming complacent about it. That can happen sometimes. You get caught up in moments, you’re three weeks into a tour, the routine is locked in, and maybe you forget what’s really happening.
I’m touring Europe playing music.
How amazing is that?
Honestly, how freakin’ amazing is that?
I remembered it yesterday as we indulged a day off in beautiful Friesland. No drives. No schedule. No obligations. What a treat. I know we spend most of our time together as a band, but in a funny way we haven’t spent a lot of time together as a band on this tour. We’re in the van every day, but usually Ken and Deni have headphones on and Sarah and I have our chats in the front seat. We eat together, but that’s usually in a busy venue. After the shows we don’t really hang out much as a group – Sarah’s working or we’re tired and it’s bed time. It’s fine, but at the same time I think it’s important for bands to bond.
We devoted our yesterday partly to that and partly to restorative measures. Sarah was able to go for a run and exercise. Ken was able to do some yoga. Deni was able to re-enact a scene from The Lord of the Rings with Jimi the cat. Then we went to lunch together and talked and walked around the gorgeous little city of Dokkum, Netherlands.
Later we went out for dinner at a fabulous Chinese buffet where we had way too much food, loaded up on vegetables, ate ice cream, and were wonderfully silly together. It was a perfect time for us to reconnect off-stage as we get ready for the last leg of shows. For me it was also a good chance to wake back up and rekindle my wonder about all of this. We’ve been so busy so far ….
So today I’m grateful.
I’m grateful to Sarah for bringing me on this adventure. I’m grateful to her for all of the enormously hard work she’s done to build a foundation here. I’m grateful to her for making this tour happen. For driving the van. For taking care of us on the road. For having faith in me to play her music well and represent her as a member of her band.
I’m grateful to Ken and Deni for having my back on-stage and off. I’m grateful to them for making me laugh all day every day. I’m grateful to them for helping me be a better musician. I’m grateful to them for late night chats and silly voices and looking me in the eye like we do. I also want to offer condolences to Deni. Yesterday we found out his friend and a major influence, bassist Tim Chandler of The Choir, passed away. Very sorry, my friend.
I’m grateful to all of Sarah’s fans who come to the shows and dance and sing. I’m grateful for the love they give me as an extension of the love they give Sarah. I’m grateful for all of the hugs. All of the encouragement. All of the commitment they have to what we’re doing. All of the gifts, all of the generosity, all of the hospitality.
I’m grateful to our friends back home who follow along and cheer us on.
I’m grateful to our families for being okay with us winging away to play music for a month. I know that’s not always easy on them, and we are all lucky that our spouses and kids are open and encouraging. Don’t think we don’t miss you on these tours. In fact, we talk about you more than anything else.
Finally, I’m grateful to you, gentle reader, whoever and wherever you are. Thanks for sharing this space with me. Thanks for reading my words. I still hope they inspire you to imagine possibilities.
And to maintain your wonder.