Author: Little, Cameron

Sweet Ride

Changes happen. Part of life and all that. There are milestones kept close to the heart and fondly remembered for a lifetime like the first car, first instrument, first kiss, and first time through Blackberry Blossom. Other changes and milestones are not so fond and theyíre the ones we can try to resist...or choose to embrace.

Changes and transitions are on my mind because Iíve hit some big ones recently. The good one, the happy one, is that I bought my first car. Yes! I canít help but smile every time I think about it. Now Iíve got a sweet ride in pristine condition, bought from a bluegrass pal who Iíll forever think of as my ďFairy Godfather of Cool CarsĒ. Thereís room in the trunk for mandolins, a banjo, and at least a couple guitars. Itís been inaugurated with road trips and jams, and Iím thinking it needs to go to a drive-in movie pretty soon because it has yet to see popcorn between the seat cushions.
My other recent changes are of the not-so-fond variety. My mom and I have decided to move off our beloved 160 acre ranch in the Sierra - a tragic (and unnecessary) necessity from the fallout of divorce. This has been the place that represents limitless freedom and healing for me, the place where I learned to play music, where I got my daily inspiration for writing, and the place where Iíve been in constant awe of the wild beauty that surrounds me. Every day and every season here has brought me experiences, and even hardships, that have shaped who I am. Itís been a sweet ride.

One thing I know about changes though is that theyíre a lot like the seasons. Seasons happen. Itís best to work with them, through them. What changes, and especially painful changes, bring home for me is a reminder of what is important and constant in my life. The things I can depend on. Family, and that includes my extended, chosen bluegrass family. Music. Friends.

Itís good to remember what gives comfort because those are usually the things we can depend on. At the start of each day, we pretty much have everything on hand that makes us who we are. We still have our lasting friendships, and our family bonds. Our dogs still wake us up in the morning, expecting bacon manna snacks to fall from the sky. We have our music, which will never leave us. We still have all of the festivals, instruments, campouts, performers, humor, and jams that we love. We can still be in awe of the little things, like watching that kid learning her first chords on a guitar bigger than she is. Or celebrating the new generations of bluegrassers who show up at each festival. Life goes on, the seasons cycle, and each day unfolds with promise.

Moving is a bittersweet decision that we had to make but Iím already looking forward to adventures and being present for the ďaweĒ at our new locale. As long as we have room for the dog, room for the instruments, and a way to connect with the nearest jam, all can be right in my world. Itís sure to be a sweet ride.

(Cameron Little is a seventeen year-old bluegrass musician who is currently hunting for a drive-in theater - in his sweet ride. Heís also making a list of all the bluegrassers within 20 miles of his new home...)

Posted:  10/20/2012

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