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I have been working on a new melody on my guitar today. It is a mellow piece that I just kept repeating. As usual, the notes began to quiet the gray matter of my mind as my heartbeat slowed. I was there once again – My quiet place.
In the midst of this for some reason, I remembered a moment with my mother. I was ten years old at that time. I could see it as if I was watching a video. Every detail was vivid.
My father and mother had recently divorced. Soon afterward, my father found his way to prison. The weight of an uncertain future was weighing heavy on all of us, but none more than on my mother. The stress of how she would provide for five children without any professional skills in the work force was taking its toll on her.
That particular evening we were supposed to all go next door to eat dinner at a relative's home. Mother told us to go on ahead and she would be right behind us. My siblings and I walked to the house, which was only a hundred feet or so, but as I approached the steps, I looked back and noticed momma had not left the house yet. I do not know why, but I went back to our house to find her.
I slowly entered the house through the kitchen. Even now, I cannot remember why I felt the need to be quiet when I entered the house. I stood in the kitchen and I could hear Momma softly playing her guitar in the living room. I entered the hallway and noticed the lights were off in the room where she was.
Alone in the dark her song flowed down the hall where I stood listening to her melody. She never sung or spoke a word, but I could literally feel her pain and fears in every chord she feathered with her hands. I stood there and wept. It was all I knew to do. I felt that if I were to disturb her I would evaporate what she needed most at that moment. Looking back now I believe the Spirit of God was hugging her through her song. It was her moment of some sense of peace that she desperately needed.
I quietly exited the house so that I would not interfere with what was taking place in that dark room, but her son stood in the yard by the window listening to her song as tears bathed his face. Trying to understand the depth his mother’s pain.
Today as I relived that moment I realized that maybe that is why music affects me so much. I found the same place deep within the melodies my mother found. My guitar has been my quiet place all my life through every event that has shaped me, both good and bad. It draws my spirit to the surface as it quiets my soul. My heart opens to God. Wider, without apprehension. Without filtering. Just finding what is there. That which is needful. Bathing in a peace that cannot be measured for its worth. All within a song that needs no lyrics to be sung. Only exhaled from my heart through my fingers, brushed across the strings.
I think, Momma would have been proud to know her son found her secret place.
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11 Jan 2014
Beautifully written, George - and what a special, heartwarming piece. I was there with you in that place - and I'm glad you've found it.
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