Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gratitude for Music (by Judy)

In my last entry, I spoke about our trip to Tennessee, an experience that still excites me and reminds me about the amazing diversity of people, geography and history in our country. But it is the music that continues to dig deep into my heart and remind me about our great God. I know I am not alone. Even David sang, "My heart is steadfast, O God. I will sing and make music with all my soul."

Since Tennessee, we have embarked on two weekend trips - one to Virginia and one to Minnesota. Our southern journey was for fun, as we visited friends and attended a fair in a small Civil War style town. There were re-enactments, delicious food, costumes and games, and strolling musicians playing country instruments, like the banjo, fiddle, mandolin and dulcimer, which I am now studying. Best of all was a concert in a lovely chapel where a lilting tin whistle played notes that soared to the rafters - "When we've been here ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise, than when we've first begun."

Minnesota was different - a memorial service, celebrating the life of my son-in-law's father. We traveled 3 hours north of Minneapolis to a beautiful and somewhat wild land of lakes, pine trees, soaring birds, and people who enjoy hunting, fishing and wild rice pancakes. The evening before the service, I sat with family, talking about previous Catholic funerals I have attended. My richest memory is a hymn - "You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, who abide in his shadow for life, say to the Lord: 'My refuge, my rock in whom I trust." and then the chorus, always led by a beautiful baritone several rows behind, "And he will raise you up on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hand." Sure enough, the hymn was on yesterday's program and the baritone sang.

The morning after the service, I rose early, and went to the dining room of the rustic lodge where we were staying, thanks to the generosity of the lodge's owner, whose father bought meat from my son-in-law's father 65 years ago - for such is the steadfastness of love in the countryside. The cavernous room was empty, the huge windows looking out over Gull Lake pristine. As I sipped my steaming coffee, I watched the sunrise and listened to David's voice, the tin whistle, the baritone - and simply thanked God by singing His praises once again. "Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn."

1 comment:

  1. Why does music move us? Is there something in our souls that corresponds to another world?