Hello and good day!
The best things in life are still the best.
Last night, I had the pleasure of going to a concert. It was held in a small, intimate venue. We have a wonderful neighbor up the road who gives our children music lessons. Her son studied music in Hungary and now he sings in a choir.
The family sent the young man to Hungary because college is much cheaper in Europe, and also one of the mother's favorite musicians teaches at the Hungarian music school where the boy studied. The son gives our kids singing lessons as well. I provide that background to show that the choir was made up of trained, high-quality singers.
The choir sang entirely acapella and there were several barber shop quartets featured as well. At the beginning, the choir master gave a speech. He explained that the purpose of their choir is to bring younger singers and older singers together, with the specific goal of singing to youth and elderly audiences. The choir travels around singing at school assemblies and in senior citizen centers. They put on concerts as fundraisers.
When I heard that, I looked at the choir members standing on the stage, and sure enough, there weren't many middle agers up there. It was a lot of fresh-faced youngsters and a lot of people with grey and snow-white hair.After the speech was over, the show started.
My youngest son came over and sat on my lap. I felt his weight on my leg, and he leaned his head in to snuggle up against me. I put my arms around his body, and I was able to feel his rib cage pushing up against the skin of his torso because his body was curved in towards me. I felt his soft hair and hard head on my neck.
The choir master stepped out in front of the choir and signaled for the singers to prepare themselves. A beat later, voices drifted out. The harmony was so beautiful it could break your heart. I wanted to reach out and grab the sound out of the air, and reach into my heart and grab the feeling, and put them together, and keep them somewhere.
I have the memory now, but the memory isn't the same as the moment. A memory is too intellectual. Your senses aren't engaged.
The theme of the evening was the magic of love. It was love song after love song. The songs were unabashedly romantic and sentimental. Somewhere during the show, it occurred to me that acapella singing must have been around before instruments were even invented.
Falling in love is as old as humanity itself.
That being the case, I'd imagine that acapella love songs are likely one of the most ancient genres of music. And since the form can't really be innovated upon, it is just human voices, I'd imagine that the experience has remained relatively unchanged throughout the millennia.
Isn't that a peculiar thought?A person listening to love songs 4,000 years ago would have found it just as enchanting as I found it last night.
That got me to thinking about what other things haven't changed over the millennia. What immediately came to mind was the little boy sitting on my lap with his head digging into my neck. Little kids snuggling their parents has been going on forever, and I'm sure that parents have always been smitten with it.
During intermission, I was looking for other things that people have been doing forever.
I saw a young couple embracing. The young man was tall and robust. The young woman was thin and petite. She was standing on her tippy toes looking up into the man's eyes. He had his arms around her thin waist, and he was looking down at her, grinning. Then he leaned down to kiss her. She tilted her head back and stretched up even taller on the balls of her feet to receive the kiss. After the kiss, they were all smiles.
It's been going on forever.
An elderly couple walked by holding hands.The wife leaned in to say something. The husband didn't seem to hear well. He put his arm around his wife's shoulder and moved his head closer to listen. After hearing what she wanted to tell him, he smiled and nodded.They went back to holding hands as they walked by.
A picnic near a lake. The heat of the sun on your face. The feel of your beloved's hand in yours. Cold water running down your throat when you are thirsty.Laughing until your stomach hurts. The feel of a body next to yours.
A meal prepared with great love and eaten with your best friends.Laying on the grass and looking up at the sky and the clouds. Staring out at the ocean. Your child making your proud. Harmonized voices vibrating into you.
The best things in life are still the best. They always have been the best, and they always will be.
In between choir songs, barbershop quartets performed. One of the quartets was made up of four people from the choir. Another was a traveling quartet who goes from place to place performing.
Both were wonderful.
The third quartet, the one that stole the show in my opinion, was made up of two choir singers and two ushers. It was a surprise to see the ushers up there. They were still in their usher's uniforms. The baritone was portly, had thick grey hair, and was wearing a hearing aid. The lead was thin, balding on top, and had a grey ponytail hanging down his back. The male usher had a grey beard and the most sparkling smile. The female usher wore thick coke bottle glasses and had a nice head of grey hair, cropped short.
I couldn't help but think that if you saw any of these four in the grocery store, it would never occur to you that they were singers. But they sang beautifully. The songs they sang and the way they sang, their passion and their ability, were almost impossibly beautiful.
It was spell binding. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. I felt myself leaning in closer, trying to focus as hard as I could. I didn't want the moment to ever end.
After the show, we walked out into a clear Pacific Northwest night. The show was near one of the big lakes we have here. I could see the lake out on the horizon, dark blue. The sky was light blue, painted around the edges with swatches of purple and orange. There was a huge full moon, low in the sky, shining pale yellow. A cool breeze blew through and made my face cold.
I walked with my family, holding my youngest son's hand. My wife looked lovely and my other two sons were running and joking. People were chattering happily behind us and in front of us.
Everybody felt great because the singing was so good. The best things in life are still the best. Always have been and always will be.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!