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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Spirit of Music

“Youth is wasted on the young.” 

The quote sneaks into my brain once in awhile. I often want to concede to it. But I’ve decided not this week. I believe someone also said, “You’re only as old as you think you are.” That's the maxim I'm subscribing to right now…makes me a little more self-assured.

My husband and I had the pleasure of watching our daughter (and her cohorts) perform at the vocal small group contest for the first time last Saturday. While the pieces weren’t technically perfect, they were pretty darned good—especially for a group of freshman girls. What I found most inspiring was the pluck, the spirit of all these teens! Singing Spanish tra-la-la's to make you smile, or folksy ballads to make you weep. I mean, these kids really felt the music…as did I! There was no rote memorization or forced expressions. Just lovely melodies and harmonies. When that kind of music is made, joy abounds.

It brought back memories. Music was a much bigger part of my life once. Listening. Performing. Sharing. Somewhere between twenty-nine and forty-two, I started to shut off my radio. Playing piano in front of a crowd began to make me nervous. You could say I started thinking like an adult–and really worrying about stuff. 

Turning off the music allowed me to meditate in silence or increase my knowledge by listening to NPR. (Just like my mom!) And silence is healthy—once in awhile. No one would disagree that NPR is engaging and informative. But perhaps, just perhaps I can wander into another channel to grasp a piece of that spirited youth by finding the music once again.

I started playing piano more. Making Alex sing some Norah Jones or Coldplay with me. (She loves that.) And when I accompanied the children’s Mass this week, I enjoyed it for the first time in a long time. No, it wasn't "technically perfect", but I felt the music. I even caught myself smiling a few times. (Who doesn't smile during "This Little Light of Mine"?)

Sometimes, I think God uses our children to help us to find our spirit. Oh goodness. I don’t “think” that. I know He does. My gratitude to my Alex for your voice...and your musical spirit.

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