Ah, a night on the town… Is there anything more fun than getting away from the Montreat Bubble? To be honest, I never feel that leaving the “Bubble” is nearly as much fun as coming back to it. I guess that’s what makes me a Montreatian. However, running into familiar faces outside of the Gate is always a great time as well, and that’s something that happens a lot in Black Mountain.
My friends and family back in Georgia have probably gotten really tired of hearing me talk about how much fun it is to live where I do. I’m always bragging about the beauty of the Montreat Cove, and the quaint, adorable town of Black Mountain. I only talk about it so much because I’m just so thankful to live in a place that provides both the home-y touches of a small town, and all of the fun connotations of a college town, especially one that is so in touch with Montreat College in particular. The White Horse, in Black Mountain – a spot that happens to be a favorite among Montreatians – was gracious enough to host a music-business class for their big project: an album release party. Local song writers from around the area were asked to write a song inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains. The album – entitled “Pathways to Present” – consists of a combination of Montreat and Warren Wilson College students and also a few writers from around the area. Everyone was invited to hear the songs featured on the album and to wait for the winner to be announced at the end of the celebration.
I absolutely loved the entire evening. The two hosts (who both happened to be redheads) kept cracking ginger jokes and asked us to pray that they didn’t get sunburn from the stage lights. All of the songwriters had wonderful presence, which brought an easy feel to the concert. Basically, everyone in the audience and on the stage were just happy to be in community together where good music, good people, and good refreshments were bountiful.
The only stipulation for each song written, was what it had to be about: the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of this, each piece had bluegrass infused into it, ranging from just a hint of a blues swing to full on down-by-the-river. Bluegrass happens to be one of my favorite genres, so I was in love the entire evening. I’m glad I wasn’t a judge, because I would have had a really hard time deciding on a winner. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that!
While I was sitting there, tapping my toes and enjoying a local beverage, I kept looking around and wondering why all these people, who are from all over the country – who have little-to-no ties with the mountains around us – could be invested in this competition, and interested in what these songs were about. Finally, I realized that we weren’t listening to just any songs. They were songs about our new home – all of us. No matter where we go after graduation, or for the rest of our lives, each person who comes through the gate will be tied to the Blue Ridges forever because a very small – and very important – part of their lives are embedded here.
As a Georgian, I’ll always claim Atlanta as my home, but the Blue Ridge Mountains are as close to my heart as a second home can be.