I am sitting at the old desk in my music room, listening to the sound of the rain and the crickets singing, two sighing lumps of fur at my feet. My sweet Dan is already back at the theater for another very long day, working the Sidewalk Film Festival. I miss having him here with me, but there is also a special quality to time alone to think and be. Days like this are rare once the school year begins, so I never take them for granted. Just a quiet Sunday morning is a treasure to me as I look around me in this wonderful old house that I love so much. Most everything I see brings up a memory that makes me smile…the maple desk, warped with age that I write at belonged to my Aunt Sara, Mom’s oldest sister, and truly a second mother to me. Prints on the walls of past recitals, the bass clarinet lamp that my students insisted I buy at a conference, the old clarinet that Mom found for me in an antique store and a special student made into a lamp for me in North Carolina. I look out onto the back decks and can see Dan and I sitting with our mothers, now no longer with us. The improvements and renovations that I see everywhere, reflecting the countless hours of work that Dan and I have done to this house over our twelve years here. I look through the office windows and see the burned out apartments next door, filling me with gratitude yet again that our home was spared. The tapestry of my life is filled to the brim with good and with challenge…with life. I am grateful for every thread in that tapestry, as it has brought me to this place.
The rain has always made me reflect on my life, especially Sunday morning rain. Sometimes I think I could tell it was Sunday rain, even if I didn’t know. The world is more still, more quiet. I hear nature singing in what is usually a very busy city. I sat and watched the hummingbirds at the feeder for a long time, mesmerized by their agility and playfulness with each other- a stop and start ballet. The house seems even more ensconced in the trees, the rich green leaves heavy with raindrops…soon they will turn color and float to the ground as fall approaches. The clock ticks in my studio, the only thing that gives a feeling of the time passing. It seems that I spend so much of my life on the run, going from one task to the next, one student to the next, one chore to the next- all things that I love, but today…today will be different. This day will be about recharging for the busy week ahead; some practicing, some yoga, some house chores, and some time to sit with the animals and think. This summer of change has taught me so much, but I have much more to learn, many more changes that I want to make for myself. I love that life gives us the opportunity to try again and again to improve and grow. I have made wrong turns many times in my life, but I’ve at least been good about readjusting my compass and trying again.
I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this new school year, finishing projects that have weighed on my mind for many years, new opportunities and avenues to perform and challenge myself, continued work on my health and wellness. I am trying some new things at work…time to shake things up on this twenty-ninth year of teaching. So many possibilities, so much hope. I love that at fifty-two I feel even more energized about life…something I didn’t expect. I have to think of Mom when I feel that surge of hope and joy. I told Dan recently that I truly, viscerally, feel that Mom wants me to be happy, wherever she is. That energy of love that she has become flows through my sister and I. We both feel it. Now it’s time to run with that flow of energy, continue to relish in life, find the joy in everything. I’m over the slump I went through and am ready to embrace what lies ahead. It won’t always be an easy road, but I know that I have the tools to deal with whatever comes my way now. I’m working on being the calm in the storm, as being happy doesn’t mean that we ignore the bad things that happen…we just look for ways to navigate those challenges with an attitude of gratitude. Today, I am especially grateful for this quiet Sunday morning. Here’s to life.
Trying something new…here is a version with me reading the post: