Music 101

I’ve finally started watching Outlander, thanks to the not-so-gentle prodding of a friend. As one does when binging a series, I skip the recaps and intros. I just started season 5, and was a bit slow on grabbing the remote, so I heard the theme song, and I am so glad I did. Each season comes with a new version of the theme song; this version is sung a cappella by a choir. The accents, the crescendos, the fermatas, the harmonies…it is ethereal, it is stirring, and it is haunting.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been raised in a town that supported its school music programs. We all sang to Mrs. Clark’s direction from 1st to 5th grade. We learned the recorder. Band was optional, but it began in 5th grade. Band and Choir continued through middle and high school with options to join the jazz and marching bands, and the chamber choir. I chose all three. Part of the reason was because we had enthusiastic and talented leaders, Mrs. Imse and Mr. Pearson, especially. They loved what they did, and it showed, and it was their love that inspired and enabled us to be as good as we were. We made great music together, and it felt so good to be a part of an arts program that could bring many different people together to create something beautiful. I especially loved singing in the chamber choir, being a part of the six part harmonies, and knowing that we all wanted to blend together, not single ourselves out.

Hearing the choir on Outlander sing The Skye Boat Song is magical in the way only music can be; it transports and reawakens the soul to a past life, and stirs the desire to want to live it again.

My Only Valentine

As much as I imagine that there must have been more, I can only think of one Valentine’s Day.

I remember walking down the busy hallway to my locker, excitement brimming, love clouding our minds. I arrived at my locker and was overwhelmed by the scent of roses. I craned my neck to see who had received them, and reached no conclusions. I resumed spinning the dial on my combination lock. When I opened the door, the loveliness of a dozen red roses saturated my unsuspecting heart. My high school sweetheart had memorized my combination from all the times he stood by my side, and then snuck in early that morning to deliver my gift.

The attention. The forethought. The simplicity. The grandeur. Love can be so complex and so simple all at the same time. But most of all, his was sweet. So, so sweet.

“Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.” ~Shakespeare (Who else?!)