Livin’ Hoedown Style…

Maybe you are a fan of country music, maybe not.  Having grown up in this agriculture-based county, it was a part of life here, and being familiar with the music, it does often seem that it parallels our lives.  


Lately one of the popular songs that kept rolling through my mind over the past few weeks, was that of ‘Living’ performed by Dirks Bentley, and written by Bentley, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley and Jon Nite.  The gist of the song is about seeing the extraordinary in everyday life… experiencing the day completely…really living it…vs just being alive, taking up space here on earth and only breathing.  


If you are living here in Caswell County, you are likely aware that we just held the annual Bright Leaf Hoedown Festival.  And that is what this past Saturday was like…not just another day, but a day of being really alive, a day full of experiencing life at its fullest. 


Although the day started at 5:01 vs 6:01 like the song…as the day began to progress, parallels existed.

The weather was beautiful…the blue was a little bluer in the sky.  


As the exhibitors set up at the Hoedown, it became clear that the event was actually going to happen…and it was incredibly humbling to see the faith that the community and surrounding neighbors had in Caswell to give it a try.  So many people working together, so many organizations working together, so many good intentions all moving together. 

Having a heart full of grateful…for all you’ve been given.


The theme of inspiration that rang throughout the day and into the entire weekend had in fact begun way before Saturday.  The encouragement, support, the overcoming of obstacles, the coming together of citizens from all around the county and the challenges we overcame together.…all contributed to the final successful Hoedown outcome.  It was powerful and positive and good!  It was for every one of the people here in Caswell (and surrounding counties). Our nonprofits, our crafters, our farmers and our community at large spending their valuable Saturday out here to support each other to raise up all that we have together and to celebrate all of us...together!  That is what the future holds for Caswell and all of us here, if we choose to see it that way, working alongside one another. It’s up to us.  See it negatively and it will be.  Allow it to be positive, and the possibilities are endless. 


After a bit of researching around that song mentioned, I learned that the particular album The Mountain, that Bentley’s ‘Living’ is included on, was inspired by ordinary people along the road of life who are climbing their own personal mountains …stories that are powerful, and raw as described in a blurb, people living with a sense of resilience and hope.  That is what we all share here in this county.  As a community of hard working, good people with solid values and strong roots to the land, it is the resilience of our families for generations that have allowed us all to be here today and it is up to us to now move forward in a way that paves a way for the children and young leaders to follow.   If you take a minute to look it up on your phone on YouTube; and spend a couple of minutes watching the video of ‘Living’ with Bentley and his young son, you may be touched as I was and you might even come away with a refreshing outlook.  An outlook that can contribute to overcoming some of the differences  between us that really are not that big of a deal after all.  Looking past all that and seeing the possibility that can exist.  Together we can do anything!  

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Still mid-week after the Hoedown it seems the high’s a little higher and I do indeed feel that fire that’s been missing…. some days you’re living.  Saturday was that day.   


I hope you experienced that too.  


Thank you, Caswell County, for that.  The Chamber is here to be a catalyst and cheerleader for all our businesses (whether farmers, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, small businesses, etc.) to succeed. It is the Chamber’s job to work with everyone to create an environment where we all can thrive.  The Hoedown was an example of that.  Stop by the Chamber. We are assisting farmers and entrepreneurs with free basic web site design (for a limited time) to get you going and can’t wait to see you. A. Hodges – Caswell County Chamber of Commerce


This morning' I got up at 6:01

I walked out and saw the rising sun

And I drank it in like whiskey

I saw a tree I've seen a thousand times

A bird on a branch and I watched it fly away in the wind

And it hit me

It's a beautiful world sometimes I don't see so clear


Some days you just breathe in

Just try to break even

Sometimes your heart's pounding' out of your chest

Sometimes it's just beatin'

Some days you just forget

What all you've been given

Some days you just get by

And some days you're just alive

Some days you're livin'

Some days you're livin'

Lyrics by Bentley, Copperman, Gorley & Nite 


As featured in The Caswell Messenger September 25, 2020

Written by AC Hodges