“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – E.B. White

Some food for thought during the music and arts festival this weekend… we always have a choice to improve our situation and support each other. Music is a powerful tool that can tap into memories and feelings – it transcends language barriers and can uplift the soul. It allows for different races and cultures to change our world and make friendships that are long lasting and should be savored. As individuals or in a group, music allows us to share a global consciousness.

As one generation of Reggae legends enters it’s golden years, a new movement arises. I’m staring at my old “briefcase” of cassette tapes and a few records, looking at how the song titles have changed.   There is such an urgency from bands like Steel Pulse, exposing the Handsworth Revolution in England and Black Uhuru’s mission to end Apartheid in Africa in Freedom Fighter.   Pato Banton reached out to the homeless and the unemployed in Never Give In. These were dark times that pleaded for improvement.

It brings me joy and melts my heart to watch a new generation of singers, songwriters, and fans embrace this genre. Music continues to evolve and build a community we can enjoy and be proud of.   The lyrics reflect a commitment to cherish the ones we love and be optimistic for a brighter future. I always considered myself a Reggae fan, but now I feel like it is a community to savor; a newly formed Tribe of like minded people who are healers, thinkers, and part of something special. In Smile, HIRIE reminds us, “If the weight of the world is heavy on your mind, you could lift up your soul and smile….rest up on my shoulder, live your life away!” Rebelution gives us Courage to Grow and reminds us that “Everyone one of us has a purpose here, sometimes it’s hidden underneath your fear.” Mike Love is always so positive. In No Regrets, he sings, “Get back to living and giving love… always do your best, always remember you are blessed… plant seeds, love will grow.”   This is what I hope to gain from the festival. We should gather to enjoy this world and celebrate music.   Celebrate how lucky we are to be part of the movement, the celebration of life, and this new world we create collectively.

Over the years, California Roots has reached out to the community and made an effort to promote green business practices at the festival. In addition to the line up of music and art, we can do our part to improve this world by making small steps to reduce our impact on the environment.   There is a staff of volunteers to explain composting and recycling, which will help reduce our food waste at the event. There are ample opportunities for reducing plastic water bottles and utilizing a more progressive water filling station system. They also have organized ride share systems, a bicycle valet service, and some fantastic Non-Profits that will exhibit at the show, such as Do It For the Love Foundation, Unify to Thrive, HeadCount, and the Canvas Foundation, to name a few.  Please visit these booths and learn about their mission. Take the time to learn how you can contribute or get involved. Plan for a world that future generations can enjoy. These snapshots of California Roots are reminders that we can support one another and be proud of our love for Music and Community.   Remember that it truly takes a Tribe and and Village to take care of one another.  After all, “It’s a Movement!”  My photographs from the weekend can be found on Facebook and Instagram.