Thoughts from an audience member at our Pawlet, VT, concert, August 17, 2017

By Liz Schafer, Editor of the Vermont News Guide, 

Last night, I sat with a small group of people outside the Library in Pawlet to listen to the Washington County Band. I had missed their recent appearance at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, generously sponsored by the Lions Club, and was thrilled to have another opportunity so close to home. Having never seen them before, and heard only praise for their performances in the area, I had expected the usual fare presented by any decent concert band – but it turned out to be a transcendent experience, with a varied selection of music performed by a talented group of volunteer performers, directed – or more aptly, choreographed – by Geoffrey Gee, who clearly loves what he does. The experience was definitely a high point for what has been for me a fairly unremarkable summer, measured more by the results of my labors outdoors than for its recreational pursuits.

As the light began to dim, we looked up to see dozens of bats spill from the air vent atop the stately old Library behind the band. I wondered what kind of bats they were; could they be the Little Brown Bats whose populations were almost devestated by White Nose Syndrome a few years ago? I imagined that the Library Board must know of their presence, and were willing to provide them habitat. At least, I hope so. It was reassuring to see them there, to know that thousands of mosquitos would be consumed over the next few hours; it meant there would be fewer to victimize me as I work in my backyard. It also caused me to reflect on how every living thing on this earth is dependent upon every other, not only to survive but to thrive.

In a world which lately seems to have gone awry, we need to treasure the passion of the artist, the camaraderie of neighbors sharing a small patch of grass on a summer’s evening, the kindness of those who recognize, accept and nurture. We need to embrace our commonality with all of life. Because we are not alone; we need each other.