I found myself thinking this morning about early influences and inspirations and how they all come together over time to make us who we are. The visual that I have today is of an “archeological dig” within my being – where the the layers of ideas and experiences pile on top of each other and form a unique whole.
The video below is one of my earliest influences leading to the discovery of writing for piano – “Thanksgiving” from George Winston’s piano CD, December. Very good friends of our family, in fact, my Godfather and his wife, gave me this CD when I was a teenager, right at the time I was starting my first church job (in their church, ironically). As time passes, much of the music I found so powerful and moving in the past seems less powerful, yet this once piece remains one of those that I simply must stop and take in. It is so beautiful, it hurts!
My goal this spring has been to get out and do a bike ride with my son every day that it is possible. So far, so good: most sunny days he and I have set off on a 5-9 mile rail-trail excursion, and he is improving more quickly than he is growing in stature (which is happening rapidly!).
Being very attuned to sound, I’m constantly aware of the singing birds, the rushing river, the breeze in the leaves, the whir of tire on pavement, and of course the not-as-subtle, “Dad! Slow down!” It feels completely cliché to write about how beautiful these nature sounds are, but I feel it is too important to be ignored. Even along the trails, the sounds of our (human) making are ever so close, with the passing trucks and cars, and most especially those who have long cell phone conversations while walking in the woods! The connection I have felt to nature becomes even more precious when there is so much competition for my attention. I’m even aware when we stop just to enjoy the view that is so hard to quiet the nagging voice that says, “Get moving! Work to be done at home!”
So, the medicine I’ve chosen is to do it regularly. Get out there, feel the breeze, hear the sounds, quiet the mind. Try it!