Just like that, summer swept by. But what a memorable last night of summer for us!
For Erin's birthday, I scored tickets for Wilco online moments after they went on sale months ago. John Paul is visiting his folks back home, so I got the extra ticket and went with Erin, Maggie and James. The air was thick with humidity (but no rain!) and excitement as we made our way a few blocks up 5th Avenue to Central Park's Rumsey Field. (Bergdorf Goodman's fall windows!) There's something about that stretch of pavement that always generates wonder and happiness for me. The soaring sycamores, triple wide cobblestone path, the zoo tucked inside the park wall and the old-world buildings on the east side of the street. The glow of the Plaza at night is from a fairytale.
And then, there we were. Inside the park, following the rising music and suddenly standing in a gentle audience of Wilco fans. Singing, swaying, so happy - grateful for every song, story and encore. It was everything.
When it was over, we walked back through the park once more, now part of a mellow but brisk crowd. Erin took my hand, in the way that a mother minds her little one. When she let go, Maggie gave me a little "stay close" hug and did the same. Seriously sweet. Folks went their various ways as the evening welcomed wanderers. We admired all the quiet streetscapes and glistening scenes that show themselves in the dark without the daytime bustlers and even explored the lobbies of the Plaza - just because we could.
Seeing us home with flickering lights giving way to riverside trees, the Hudson led the way north, quietly scattering the last lovely pieces of summer to the past.