If ever there was such a thing as an obvious choice, the subject of this entry is it. The writer in me so desperately wanted to go with a twist or misdirection, but anyone who knows me would easily guess or tell you the band or musical artist that has impacted my life is Sister Hazel. I mean, it’s not even close.
This entry actually serves as a good follow-up to my post from yesterday. I went through some tough and dark times at the end of 2004, and it was the music of Sister Hazel that played a part in getting me through it. There were days when I felt like my life had come to a screeching halt while everyone else’s was going by me at 100 miles per hour. It was my ability to relate to the lyrics; to read, study, and understand those words set to music that helped get me through those dark days.
Diggin' in for another day
Carrying on in my own way
But you know me
I live and die nearly every day
Insanity, it's havin' its way with me
In 2005 I was able to introduce Lee to the music of Sister Hazel, and it became something we were able to share together. It allowed her to understand and get me a little bit better. It became for her, albeit after some initial reluctance, a place for her to find strength and comfort as well.
And when you're weak of holding on
Release your wayward soul
And spend your days not falling down
Before your empty idols
In 2006, Lee and I chased daylight on the way to the first annual Hazelnut Hang in South Carolina. We watched the sun set on the west coast of Florida, jumped in my truck, drove all night, and watched the sun rise over the beach on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina. It was the first of what would become many Sister Hazel related adventures and experiences Lee and I would share together.
Sky fell down and pulled us in
Stole away my oxygen
And left me standin' breathless there with you
The ocean wrapped around the sun
The smell of June - the taste of your tongue
Was all I'd ever need
The music of Sister Hazel has not only been an inspirational vehicle for the two of us, it’s also introduced us to a circle of friends that cannot be adequately described with words. When I think about the people with whom Lee and I interact on a regular basis, for the vast majority of them, the common link is Sister Hazel. We either met them through or because of events that in some shape, way, or form tie back to that band that hales from Gainesville, Florida.
I’ve jumped out of a plane because of Sister Hazel. I’ve helped friends load a moving truck because of Sister Hazel. I’ve helped friends unload a moving truck because of Sister Hazel. I’ve seen friends meet, fall in love, and get married because of Sister Hazel. I’ve attended weddings of friends because of Sister Hazel. I’ve seen friends bring babies into this world because of Sister Hazel. I’ve shared tears at the passing of friends I’ve met because of Sister Hazel. I know it may sound weird from the outside looking in, but I can tell you it’s quite a spectacular feeling knowing I have this large, extended family on which I can rely and in which I can trust, all because of this one band that continues to put out great music and bring people together.
I honestly don’t know where I’d be without my Hazel family. I honestly cannot imagine my life without the myriad of people who fill my life and make it so wonderful and blessed. I think about how different my life would be if not for the music of Ken Block, Drew Copeland, Ryan Newell, Mark Trojanowski, and Jett Beres. When you stop and think about it, it really is a beautiful thing.