Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)
TITLE: My Mind's Eye
By Esther Phillips
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I hounded my dad for a very long time about wanting to play the piano. Finally, one day he told me he had found a used piano but if he bought it, he couldn’t afford to pay for lessons to go along with it. He asked if I knew of anyone who could teach me. I thought the neighbor lady could, but we found out she inherited the piano and didn’t know how to play either. My dream of learning to play dropped into a black hole.
When I was in grade school, my music teacher told us we would have a talent day. When the day came, several of my classmates played the piano. I was green with envy and decided I would go to the front of the room and play the piano, too. I played just like I envisioned I could and it was no better than that day at the neighbor’s house years before. My teacher thanked me for my contribution to Talent Day. I didn’t realize until further on in my “musical” career what a fool I made of myself.
The symphony came to our little community from the big city of Denver. They were going to play in the daytime for any students who wanted to come. My teacher asked if I would like to go and told me she would pay my way. I accepted her offer and got to ride the bus to the high school where it was held. I still remember her kindness in fueling my desire for music after all these years.
Since I didn’t have an instrument to play, I started singing. I sang everywhere I went on the farm. I discovered that the animals liked that. The cows would tilt their heads and perk their ears as if they were listening. The chickens and ducks would cluck and quack along with me. The pigs would grunt and the dogs would howl. When I got upset, I walked out in the yard by the animals and told them my problems. They were a very sympathetic audience! After I poured out my heart, I found myself singing and they joined me.
After I married, I joined the church choir. Some weeks I didn’t feel like going because I was tired or things weren’t going well. I went anyway. By the time I sang for an hour or more, I felt good again.
In the Bible we read these words, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:19, NIV)
Music has always been in my heart. I have found in stressful or other difficult times that music lifts my heart and revives my spirit. It plants me back on safe ground.
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