Skip to main content

Year Three, Day 99: Simple Gifts

What I am feeling grateful for today:

Dinner with son last night.

My daughter.

My granddaughter - coming soon!

Students eager to learn.

Friends wanting to play music with me.

Moving with strength, absence of pain.

Clear mind. Clear lungs.

Love of family, friends, life.

A cool summer breeze.

God.

Music.

Speaking of which, I am at chamber music rehearsal. I am listening to a beautiful piece being played by a cellist, violinist and flautist. Trio #2 by Hiroshi. We are in the church I teach at on Saturday. It gets very hot in here. I have the side door open, box fan blowing slightly cooler early afternoon air into the sanctuary. I played the first three Russian folk songs with cello and voice. They asked me to fill in for their regular pianist who is on vacation. I've played with them before. The vocalist is my friend. I was having anxiety earlier. Hot church, worried about way too many things beyond my control. Wishing I had the evening free to do my library blogging, hit the gym, go sit and read at Starbucks with an iced tea. My usual comfortable routine.

But then suddenly everything changed. The music returned and touched something that had almost died inside. I am filled with joy. My earlier funky mood has dissipated, like smoke in the air. My anxieties forgotten.

I need to play more music. Not want.

Need.

I must sound insane. I have been in this place far too many times.

Earlier I was tense and anxious. I was worrying about finances, and the logistics of adding caring for my new grandbaby into my schedule. Amongst many other things beyond my control.

I realize now that I did not start day with prayer.

When will I learn?

Maybe God sent the music. To remind me to look up, to let go of earthly concerns. To let myself be elevated to a higher realm.

I am inspired. I see my path more clearly.

I do love teaching. But now that I am playing again, I see that I need to make room for music. I am thinking perhaps another church pianist job.

Now that I am healthier in many ways, I think I am ready to put myself out there again. Older, and hopefully humbler and wiser than before.

I sat down earlier and practiced a few pieces for an upcoming church pianist sub gig at a Presbyterian church.

I decided on Simple Gifts as a postlude.

I thought I'd share my practice with you. I love this arrangement:






The lyrics for the hymn "Simple Gifts" were written by Joseph Brackett (1797-1882), a Shaker. The tune was later made famous by Aaron Copeland. And there have been many arrangements.

The original song just had one lovely verse:

"Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be
And when I am in the place just right
I will be in the valley of love and delight
When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed
To turn, to turn will be my delight
'Til by turning, turning, I come 'round right".


Simplicity is a theme I keep returning to in my life. And it is my theme for today as I count my blessings and music my way out of a funky mood.

Music. Prayer. Exercise. Healthy food. Hard work. Family. And a good night's sleep.

These are life's simple gifts. And all too often taken for granted.
BY
Happy Saturday.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love and blessings,

Zita



p.s. Today was day 65 of my daily hooping project!







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Year Three, Day 134: The Charmed Life of a Commuting Grandma

I just discovered that the Starbucks at Cascades Station stays open until 10:00 p.m. every night.

Just when I was wanting to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Being a commuting grandma really is not that difficult. Actually, my life pretty much rocks right now!

Today has been a very good day. And I had maybe 3 hours of solid sleep last night. The Burrito has decided she likes to sleep cuddled in the arms of her Great Grandma Blanche or Grandma Zita during the day. Or snuggled safe in her infant seat while her mom, grandma and great grandma go out to lunch, do laundry and go shopping.

I warned my daughter that the
Baby Burrito needed some awake time yesterday. Or else we would pay for it in the evening. But getting so much done with a snoozing baby in tow was so freeing. Especially since Baby Burrito's dad is elk hunting all weekend.

We finally roused her for a bath, diaper change and piano lesson early afternoon.

Baby Burrito had a fantastic first piano lesson. At…

Year Three, Day 236: Memories of Food

Well, I ALMOST got on the treadmill today!

I planned on it. I actually had a very productive morning. I woke up super early, but it was cold and I knew I would be exhausted if I actually got vertical at 4:47 a.m. So I stayed in bed and checked emails, and played a few games of Words with Friends.

I drifted off again, and finally got out of bed at 9:30.  I did my prayer, journaling, bible study and reading from my Joyce Meyer Book. (The Mind Connection). I have only one more chapter to read and I am finished with the book! At which point, I plan on going back to the beginning and rereading the whole thing. It is that good!

I did my morning hoop. It was a crisp, cold morning, but no wind. I had a good workout. Then I practiced a bit of piano and did some piano lesson planning for my students.

I had planned on grabbing a quick lunch and then hopping on the Max to the gym where I would hop on the treadmill, hop in the jacuzzi and then grab a quick shower before my students.

The bus that g…

Year Three, Day 261: The Belligerent Man, The Bus Driver, and the Woman in a Poncho

I just had a most entertaining bus ride!

I had just gotten of the Max at the Hollywood Transit Center. I was coming down the steps, when I saw the #75 to Milwaukie entering the parking lot. That was my transfer bus!  I didn't want to miss it, because at this time of day, it might be a 20 minute wait until the next one.

I had just come from a lovely sushi lunch with  my daughter and Baby Gracie at Cascades Station.

The plan was for me to teach my piano students and then return to Vancouver tonight. My daughter has much work to do at home and we all know that working at home with a 5 month old baby is a bit of an oxymoron!

Anyway, I hurried down the stairs, being very mindful. The steps were slippery in the Portland drizzle. Slipping and falling would kind of put a cramp in my day.

I slowed down when I noticed there was a long line of passengers waiting to board. At the end of the line was an older, distinguished looking gentleman.  He was wearing a long overcoat and hat.  He nodded…