One of my dad's was that he listened to the little boys who teased him when he began to take violin lessons. He said they would make the "shame on you" hand gesture. (I wish that was the worst gesture people made with fingers today...) Anyway, he hated that. So much so that he stopped playing the violin.
His violin collected dust for years until my parents retired and downsized. I brought it to my home because I liked the way it looked and the story it told.
A couple of years after he died, Mary Grace announced that she'd like to take violin lessons. We've been through some ups and downs on that road - and I have a couple of regrets - but we've turned a corner. We are on the way up. As I have sat in on her lessons and listened to her work and struggle and yet, persevere, I wrote the following words.
She's doing a hard thing
This baby girl of mine
Making music from those strings
Is not easy all the time.
But what skills come with ease?
Without costing mind and heart?
For those, you don't do as you please
That's known right from the start.
Her wooden tool - from the youth of my dad
Kept silent for all these years
To hear her play would make him glad
Pride and joy would move to tears.
Her right hand holds his horsehair bow
Fingers curved, but not too tight,
The other hand cradles the neck just so
Fingers up and ready to strike.
The music begins, we hear her play.
Play? Her work does translate just so.
"Bravo!" is what our mouth must say
Beauty heard through the highs and lows.
I'm ending with a video that I recorded last weekend. It's Mary Grace and her fellow violin students playing "My Heart Will Go On," the theme from Titanic. (She is standing next to the boy.) I botched the video at the end because I didn't know what I was doing as I tried to zoom in, so there are some distracting clicks and blurry frames. Sorry about that. I regret not knowing how to properly run the camera. But I absolutely do not regret all the blood, sweat, and tears that have brought us to a point where she can play such beautiful music. We haven't arrived, but we are on the path.
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 6:9