Do you remember “Rustles of Spring” I was asked the other day.
I’ll never forget that song by Christin Sinding.
I not only play it on the piano today after so many years
but I will never forget the lessons associated with that song.
How I was ever asked to play a piano solo for my high school graduation
I will never know.
But the greater mystery is how I ever said yes.
not my thing.
I always preferred to stay in the background.
But this was my high school graduation
and I knew it was an honor to be asked. So I agreed to play a solo.
I practiced and practiced.
Knew the song inside and out
upside and down if that was possible.
The closer the time came to the graduation ceremony that more I dreaded it.
What if I forget the notes?
I could just picture it. There I would be in the middle of the song
and my mind would go blank.
I had never played in a recital before.
Always used to having music in front of me.
Friends tried to console me.
You’ll be fine.
Just keep playing. The notes will come.
The night of our graduation I was a jumble of nerves inside.
So much emotion. Pressure beyond words.
Hands wringing. Stomach churning moments.
And then the time came
I remember walking across the stage to the piano and taking my seat.
The packed auditorium stilled to a hush.
My heart beat loudly and my sweaty hands shook.
Just keep playing
Keep playing, my thoughts screamed.
I slowly placed my fingers on the keys.
No time to turn back
No, this was it.
I began to play the first measure
and the second
but my mind
Yes, there was nothing there. I had no idea what came next in the song.
My worst fear. My nightmare come true.
Somehow I moved into repeating those first few measures.
Dying. Simply dying inside.
Lord, help me, I cried from deep within.
Keep playing. The notes will come.
Well, they hadn’t
but I kept carefully, slowly repeating what I knew
Somehow from somewhere deep inside
A place that was so paralyzed with fear
the notes came
and the song that I had practiced so many times
began to play itself.
Like being swept up into a dream
my fingers swept those black and white keys
the last loud chord was played.
No, I’ll never forget it
Can’t ever hear that song played without feeling again
the waves of relief when it was over.
more important to me today
is not that I successfully completed the song.
Few know how desperate I felt that night so long ago.
No, the truth I hold onto today is still those words that my fellow classmate had shared.
Keep playing- the notes will come.
Life can have some very hard moments. Times when you just don’t know what to do.
When everything screams
Just keep playing- the notes will come.
Again and again I’ve found this to be true.
Let it sink deep within your heart today.
No matter what
Repeat what you know a zillion times.
The notes will come.