I stumbled upon a broadcast last evening of a live Crosby, Stills and Nash concert. I was fortunate enough to see them play live a couple of years ago.
What made this concert different from the one I saw live, was the audience. Two years ago we were surrounded by middle-aged people who had grown-up with the band. They were singing along, excited to be in the presence of such legends.
This time my son and daughter were watching with us. While my daughter plugged in her earphones so she could listen to “her music,” my son lamented how old Crosby, Stills and Nash sounded. He had come to appreciate their music through CD’s and Sirius satellite radio. Their voices had taken on the whiskey and cigarette huskiness of aging vocal chords.
Still, the sound was uniquely their own, albeit pitched somewhat lower than in the past. The group had created new arrangements so that they could avoid embarrassing cracks on the high notes of their youth. But the surprise came at the encore. They were going to perform, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, for the first time in many, many years.
The voices began somewhat tentatively as they each sang this song of their youth. As the husky voice of Stephen Stills became more confident, his face relaxed. David Crosby and Graham Nash began to build on their harmonies, gaining momentum with each verse until they looked at each other, nodded, and hit their high notes.
Each man’s face reflected the joy and pleasure they were receiving from performing a song they had not sung in years.They had nothing left to prove, except to themselves. In those few moments they had forgotten the audience, and the three were wrapped in a web of pure delight.
Watching this performance reminded me of an important lesson to be learned about transition time:
Transition means accepting where you are right now, while being thankful for all that you have learned, loved and experienced along the way.