January — I see the video One Day by Matisyahu. I am immediately transformed. This is one of those life-changing songs. The first time I hear the song and watch the video I immediately fall in love with it, especially with the lyrics. The first verse speaks to me like no other verse ever has in the history of my music listening.
sometimes I lay
under the moon
and thank God I’m breathing
then I pray
don’t take me soon
cause I am here for a reason
These lines remind me of something very important: I am here for a reason.
April — Who is this Hassidic Jew reggae rapper rocker who has really touched my life? I immerse myself in learning everything I can about him. I write a tip for “Peaceful Daily” about Matisyahu.
May — I am ecstatic to learn I will be attending Mountain Jam in June. I will have the opportunity to photograph Matisyahu while he is performing. Also, I probably will have a chance to meet him.
Last Week — My husband, my two kids and I make our way up a very steep mountain to a resort where I will finally get to hear Matisyahu live. On the way up, I Google the weather for Hunter, New York, and it says torrential downpours. I keep this information from my husband as nothing is going to stop me from hearing Matisyahu perform.
We arrive to a few raindrops — no big deal. We make our way around, have a couple veggie wraps, and check out some crystal jewelry. Slowly the clouds grow darker and darker. Rain starts pounding down. Running, with our kids in tow, we are directed to a group of tents. We run to an empty one only to find a sign that reads “Matisyahu Prayer Tent.” Ok, I am in heaven. This is where he actually prays. I close my eyes for a few moments to meditate on the fact that I am in Matisyahu’s Prayer Tent.
The wind swirls around the tent. The tent sides flap uncontrollably. This is straight out of a movie. I keep wondering if the tent is going to be lifted up into the heavens! After the wind dies down a bit, I realize there are people in the next tent, so I grab my daughter’s hand and we walk over. There sits Matisyahu on a couch, playing with his two young sons. Someone offers my daughter a carrot. I see more carrots on a table, which only confirms what I had read: He is a healthy eater. I love it. He is enjoying some time with his family, so I just say hi and enjoy the moment being in his presence. I do ask him to make a peace sign for a picture to post on the “Peaceful Daily” Facebook page, and my daughter tells him she loves his video.
Time is approaching for him to perform, so I make my way with the other photographers to the front of the stage. The clouds are still dark and rain is falling ever so slightly. The intensity is growing, and the time is approaching for him to take the stage. The crowd of nearly 10,000 screams in excitement as he enters. His performance is glittered with reggae and soul, rap and rock. The cool wind blows as the funny smoke flows in and out of the area where I am standing. I am trying to photograph the performance, but I am consumed by the moment. This really is one of those times when I think to myself, “Life is good.”
Throughout the set the clouds start to fade and, at one point, they part and the sun shines brightly on his face, reflecting off his stark white jumpsuit. Who is this guy? Is he a modern day prophet, here for a reason? I would say yes.
At the end of his performance I see him turn to the band and hold up one finger. This can only mean one thing. He is about to perform the song I had most anticipated: “One Day.” He goes into the most magnificent arrangement of the song and my mind drifts off to the reason I am here. Then, as he sings the following verse, I look back and see my kids playing hula hoops with his kids.
All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
there’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
Wow, this really is a magical day.