The Ground Beneath My Feet

We all have moments in life that feel like a huge shift has just taken place, a realization that what has just happened is truly significant. After such an experience, things will never be the same again. For me, the big ones jump out first: The loss of a close friend aged 18; being accepted to music conservatory; saying goodbye to my Father for the last time; watching my sister getting married; meeting my first niece; making my own marriage vows; the births of my children and moving here to the USA in 2016. These life-changing moments have taken my life in new directions that have ultimately made me who I am today. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the smaller, but no less significant moments that are tucked away and are perhaps less easy to notice. Those moments that did not seem particularly significant at the time but turned out to be much more important and moving than we initially realised. 

In this corner of the world in Southwest New Hampshire, we are working to make a difference in peoples lives through music.  Over the last few weeks I can honestly say that the ground has most definitely felt like it has been shifting. A small feeling at first, before an overwhelming, seismic realization followed, telling me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

As I write this, I am currently in bed full of cold. I have a horrible cough, I am surrounded by snotty tissues but I’m battling through with a cup of strong ginger tea. Every so often, my body cries enough and sends me back to bed to rest and recover from our intense schedule with nothing to do than to reflect on what Nick and I have experienced over the last few weeks. Since the start of the new season, we have performed 11 school concerts to around 2500 children and played incredible chamber music in four concerts to enthusiastic audiences. Perhaps it is the exhaustion, perhaps it is my blocked ears making me feel slightly off balance but I really feel like the ground is actually moving beneath my feet. It is an overwhelming realization that we are exactly where we are supposed to be, doing exactly what we were born to be doing.

One of my most treasured recent moments, was meeting the children at Cedarcrest Center for Disabilities. I was told that most of the children had never heard the violin live before. I perfomed solo Bach to 25 children and thier carers. At first, the music was met with excitement, dancing, singing and even some shouting (!) but slowly the room became calmer as I continued playing, and a beautiful stillness descended. At one point, I looked out to my audience to see eyes closed, possibly some napping and certainly peace all around. After the performance, I was introduced to a child who, I was told, loved music more than anything. Apparently, he is at his happiest when in the company of a good tune. I knelt before him, looked into his eyes and played again, just a small melody this time with our eyes locked. In this moment, I was humbled and deeply moved.  To be able to connect to another human being through music when speech is not an option is better than the very best of conversations. 

I will forever feel privileged to do what I do. I thank God for this opportunity to share something so much bigger than myself. The power that music has to cut straight to the heart, rise above everything, and be profoundly honest, never ceases to keep me humble with my feet firmly planted on the ground - even if it does move underneath me every so often!

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