Tuesday, January 19, 2010

O Gatorbone

There are places in our world filled with magic and wonder and things you can't put into words, and these places are all around us. One of these places is a small, simple, marvelous house which sits alongside the small, simple, marvelous and improbably named Gatorbone Lake. (Mac went along with Rodney and I to a house concert there, several months back, to hear the amazing music of Jim Hurst.) The house nestles under the widespread branches of a dogwood tree, and curls itself about its residents and their visitors.
Things bloom at Gatorbone, and they are things you expect, and things you decidely do not expect. Among the things you expect are the aforementioned dogwood blossoms, which somehow each spring seem more wondrous than before, despite the fact that the tree doesn't lie within the ideal environs for dogwood -- they grow around here, but are seldom splendid. This one is truly splendid. I wish I had a picture for you. And you pretty much expect a fine garden, especially from people who've chosen to grow things with the seasons and turn as they do. But while you might expect a good, even a really good tomato, you would not expect tiny tomatoes called "black cherry tomatoes", and with good reason, because they actually taste like tomatoes delicately flavored with black cherry. And while you might expect wisteria and johnny jump-ups, you do not expect the star-shaped flowers blooming wild in August, and you surely don't expect the astonishing flora of the lakebed, which has become a field as the aquifer underneath is depleted, and so grows a botanical display quite its own.

And you don't expect the music. It's rooted in bluegrass, often enough, but it spreads its wings to folk and jazz and...I don't know....this is one of the places I run out of words. But it is completely inclusive and wraps its arms around the players, as the house wraps its comfortable antique wooden arms around the people. My sons are both musicians, neither of them bluegrass or even folk musicians, and yet I have seen the place, the space, open its arms to them. Perhaps more interestingly, they always open themselves to the space. And this is all, really, because of the people. You don't expect them, most of all.

It's because of them, of course. But it's also the beauty of the place and most especially, the people they draw around them. On the surface of the thing, they are two perfectly ordinary people, made extraordinary by musical talent and their bond to each other, the former something you can only experience by listening, the latter something that's as plain as Quakers when you see them together. And when you see them together, you feel as though this love, this music, this simple magic is yours, too. And it is. Because this juxtaposition of the ordinary and the oh-so-NOT-ordinary probably sounds familiar to you. It's probably not much of a stretch to imagine that it applies to you. Not the same in the details, of course, but if you look closely, don't you see yourself there? Even if you can't sing a note, make a rosemary bush grow or sometimes think you can't get out of bed in the morning, isn't there some tiny magic about your own house at morning or evening, some sweetness of your own family that has been a benediction on more than one occasion? Some full-heartedness you feel at the thought of your own treasured friends? Even if you've a mere handful, or even just one, aren't you rich beyond imagining? So perhaps the best Gatorbone glamour of all is its unadorned reminder that the gift of life is for the taking. The riches of music and friends are beyond price and within reach.

Here's a view of Little Lake Gatorbone. You can sit quiely alongside the lake with nothing at all to make it perfect. You can have a glass of wine or good Gatorbone water. If you plan well, you can have Cappuccino Pecan Nuggets. And though this may be the first and last time Eat Here links you to a recipe, here it is. http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.aspx/cappuccino-pecan-nuggets/07863108-473c-42ee-9e4a-dc1fe48a6886

For information about this weekend's CD release party for Gatorbone favorite (what am I SAYING? He's a favoite the world over!) Doug Spears, please email me, or gatorbone@gmail.com.


  1. Dear Mz. Angie, S'Marvelous! S'Wonderful! Thank you for putting Gatorbone along with Lon and I in such a lovely and thoughtful light. Hope to see you Saturday! xo

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a magical place created by two of the most wonderful people on earth....

  3. Dear Ms. Moon, thank you so much. As you know better than most people how magical the place and how wonderful the people, your words are most welcome!


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