Gravity. Pulling us to a magical place in Missouri. To a postcard pretty valley underneath a breathtaking star-scape. Where water is gifted from below, and the morning bird call serenades an appreciative heart. A valley with caves to explore, and boundless nature to behold. Where moonless nights insist human eyes admire the celestial beauty of a Universe so obviously vast it illogically invites outstretched hands hopeful of touching its grace. Just as our earth's gravity eternally pulls the moon, we are inexorably drawn to Astral Valley.
In contemplation of the curation for this event, there was a certainty our theme for the weekend would celebrate the land beneath our feet, grateful for the opportunity to honor our presence thereon. In anticipation of the Total Solar Eclipse that culminates our time together at this Music and Arts gathering, we found synergy with the emotions expressed by Mercury 7 astronaut Scott Carpenter after he orbited Earth:
This planet is not terra firma. It is a delicate flower and it must be cared for. It's lonely. It's small. It's isolated, and there is no resupply. And we are mistreating it. Clearly, the highest loyalty we should have is not to our own country or our own religion or our hometown or even to ourselves. It should be to, number two, the family of man, and number one, the planet at large. This is our home, and this is all we've got.