We all have our ways of “zoning out” and simply letting go and enjoying life’s experiences. Some people bicycle, some people gamble, some people are triathletes, some people read or hike or bike, crochet or knit or many other hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to unwind.
I drive around our mountains. I find it fascinating and I am especially at home when I’m driving in our wilderness areas. To me, driving up Keller Peak Road or into other areas of the forest is a treat.
As I am driving around some beautiful, tranquil area I am listening to a favorite John Denver CD. To me, that’s a little bit of heaven. Each time I insert that DVD into the slot on my dashboard and “Calypso” or “Rocky Mountain High” starts playing I know I’m home, in nature.
Listening to his music always mentally puts me right back, so many years ago, at Snow Valley when he gave a concert. Hundreds of people sat on the slopes or in chairs (if you were in the front) and listened, listened, listened to this man’s music. They came to hear him sing, and they did. What a magnificent night. You could have heard a pin drop although there were thousands of people there. They came to listen, to hear him and sit under the stars and close their eyes and softly hum the melody of his music.
The crowd was enormous but the crowd was silent as he sang. People came to hear HIM and they did. I had my newspaper in Running Springs all those years ago, in the 1980s and 1990s. I still remember the sort of echoing of the applause as he concluded each song. People came to listen, to hear the message of the environment. They didn’t come to party as they had the week before when the Beach Boys took center stage.
My heart broke when John Denver was killed when the experimental plane he was piloting crashed into the ocean. Somehow that just didn’t seem real. Thank goodness, although he is gone, that his music is alive and well today so that we can listen to “what was” and honor and re-discover over and over again his very special voice and love of life.