September comes and there is a manic sense of gearing up…just when the harvest is supposed to begin and we are meant to shutter in for the winter season. My body is always confused at this time of year resisting the sudden burst of activity and renewed focus on early school activities, fall sports and industry networking events otherwise put on hold for the summer. The dark mornings and busy evenings lull me deeper under the soft covers that were tossed aside in the muggy heat. This is the time of year I always forget, even in the midst of more interactions and more things to do, about connection and meaning. And I wonder if this is true for you too?
June 24th 2017, Brownsville, Vermont. The long, low, grey tin-roofed, red barn diminished in size by the engulfing and surrounding fields of green that meet it on every side. It’s 6:00 PM, the sun still bright enough for sunglasses but a billowing breeze enough to cool the skin and threaten to knock the chip bowl off the table if the puppy doesn’t get to it first. A string of cars begins up the dirt drive with license plates from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Quebec and the less likely Florida or Illinois bedecking a rental car for family who flew in from Arizona, Northern California or London. From the make shift grass parking lot, drivers and passengers move into the growing gathering of people and the party has suddenly begun.
It is enthralling; a Great Gatsby scene Vermont style. Tie-wearing, barefooted kids chasing flyaway lacrosse balls. Bright colored button-downs tucked into shorts, high heels sinking into the grass and wafts of the perfumes I have smelled since I was a kid. It is the safest place to be and time stops for a moment because everywhere I turn is someone I have loved and who has loved me my whole life.
This was a time of connection. A time of simply being together as wholly as possible, with all of our might as if it may never…ever…happen again. In fact, this pervasive unspoken thought seemed to be the unifying factor that allowed each of us to love fully and decidedly when at dusk we moved into the barn lit by candles and twinkle lights and the band yee hawed its way into the feet of even the most hesitant dancer. It was my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party and it was magic.
The spirit of this event has stayed with me over the past couple of months and it reminds me of what we are actually building at F.H Perry: places and spaces of meaning to share and that offer some personal solace and truth. Places that will somehow allow more connection to the world not less. Places that capture time, hold it safely at bay and allow some magic to creep in. Places where you so fully belong.
I loved my parent’s party for the party part but more, I loved that it evidenced the power of a human gathering where fear, judgement, and world worries were asked to wait in the car. We knew they were there for us, panting in the front seat as we crossed back over the dewy grass in the deep blue darkness of the early summer evening. Which is why we turned back before we opened the passenger door to get one more glimpse of the glowing barn and all the love it held. We took one more deep gulp of joy before we headed for home.
So as we go into the fall, I look forward to continuing to build spaces for our clients that are a long lasting gulp of joy and I encourage all of you to pause and look back at the glow before you open the door to September.
All my best always,