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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: My Mind's Eye
By Esther Phillips


My dad had business with our neighbor so he drove our family to their farm. I was only about five or six at the time. When we went into their house, I noticed they had a piano. Their only child who was slightly older than I was asked, “do you want to play the piano?” I did, of course, and started banging on the keys as little kids do. I immediately fell in love with the piano and decided I wanted to learn to really play it.

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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Member Comments
Member Date
Jen Davis03/16/07
Did you ever learn to play the piano? I’m still not sure. If not, I hope you will. The paragraph describing how the animals enjoyed hearing you sing was really cute. I also liked this: “…music lifts my heart and revives my spirit. It plants me back on safe ground.” Nice message, too.
Jacquelyn Horne03/17/07
Enjoyed living through your desire to learn the piano. It's a shame that children's desires art often put on the back burner, but glad you were able to sing to the Lord.
Myrna Noyes03/20/07
From your story it is very obvious that God has given you a special love for music, and I'm glad you found an outlet for it in singing. I like the part with you and the "animal chorus" in the barnyard, and I thought your last paragraph was a very effective way to end your piece. Thank you for sharing! :)