Life Lessons with: The Grateful Dead

Dead and Co Gorge 2019
Dead & Company at the Gorge Amphitheatre in 2019.

As I mentioned in recent posts, we spent most of June back in the U.S., about two weeks of which was dedicated to following Dead & Co. up the West Coast.

The Gorge Amphitheatre, for me, is the ultimate concert venue. Nothing tops standing in that space and seeing the sweeping vistas of the Columbia River Canyon. It’s a mystical, iconic location with good spiritual juju. A perfect place for the Dead.

I had an epiphany during one of Dead & Company’s concerts there this year as the band played “The Wheel.”

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

It suddenly struck me that this song is about the cosmic struggle of humans in the universe.

The Dead asks:

Won’t you try just a little bit harder?
Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

We’re all caught in forces beyond our control. But fate doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We also have free will. And that is the whole of life: seeing what the universe brings and making decisions to direct your course as best you can.

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod
Big wheel turn by the grace of God
Every time that wheel turn ’round
Bound to cover just a little more ground


Wheel keeps turning, and that revolution and repetition becomes evolution. As each day goes by, the more you do something, the more you get it. The more you live and try to understand life, the more you will evolve.

So, keep trying “just a little bit more,” whatever it is you want to do. That’s the only way anyone ever gets anywhere. The wheel will continue to go ’round, and time only moves one way. You’re bound to evolve if you persist.