I finally figured out why I picked up the guitar many years ago and have put a bunch of time and energy into playing. I’ve certainly had other rewards and joys. But, tonight, I experienced a new form of joy.
Tonight was my weekly band practice. Last Saturday, we had a lovely gig at the library, playing Christmas music for an appreciative audience, and we had a great time. We found our “groove” and played well. But, now our gig calendar is empty.
Tonight, our leader said he’d gotten us a sudden invitation to play tonight at a nearby long term care facility for dementia patients. Pop up guitar concert time! We are a flexible group of guitar addicts!
Twenty minutes later, we are setting up in the main living room, in front of the tree and the fireplace, and we start playing our Christmas song list. The audience are there in their wheelchairs and lap robes. Soon, they are tapping their toes, nodding their heads, and smiling. We play for about an hour, and are having ourselves a good time, as well.
After our last song, a number of the residents profusely thank us for playing. I’m putting my guitar back in its case, and one lady rolls up to me in her wheelchair and offers me a piece of candy from her private stash.
“Thanks,” she says. “Merry Christmas.”
Another lady, who I know, is there, too. She’s been eyeing me, and finally says, “I know you.” We talk, and she remembers me, and tells me thanks for coming. And, “Merry Christmas.”
Tears come as I’m driving home, and I forget the cold night and the piercing east wind, and remember the warmth of the evening, and the blessings of music.