Tag Archives: Violin

Courage at Twilight: Christmas Orchestra

To prepare for the musical program at our church’s Christmas services, Mom’s friend Tamara organized a church orchestra from neighborhood musicians.  Mom has played the violin since elementary school, and plays still.  She played in the Murray Symphony, a community orchestra, until age 80, when Covid-19 ended all rehearsals and performances for a year and a half.  The family loved supporting her at concerts, cheering and taking photographs.  At age 82, Mom has decided the rehearsal schedule, the walking, the sitting, and the ornery conductor are just too hard, and she resigned from the symphony.  But she is thrilled to be part of the church Christmas orchestra.  Tamara and her husband Mike pick her up for rehearsal every Sunday afternoon at 3:30.  “They are just so nice,” Mom reported.  Tamara delivers Mom the music she needs, and looks carefully after her.  Mike helps her walk to and from the car, and carries her violin.  I am so happy for Mom to be playing her violin again in an orchestra, and to exchange greetings and rub shoulders with people she loves.  And I am so grateful for kind people in the world who make all the difference, as Mike and Tamara are doing for my cute, sweet, 82-year-old musician mother.

(Photo features Mom in her red coat, at the last concert performance of her career, in December 2019, with Dad and admiring family and friends.)



On summer evenings as the desert heat dissipated, we would open all the windows in the house to let in the fresh, cool air.  As I sat on the porch, or weeded in the garden, or fed the hens, the sounds of Erin’s violin would pour gently from her window, hovering above the quiet countryside.   Her music was like the smell of perfume from a Purple Robe Locust, or the flash of blue from a Western Bluebird, or the taste of ripe mango.  I haven’t heard Erin play her violin for several years due to her being away at university and missionary service.  But I can still hear the music in my memory and feel the soothing sensation of my mind and body loosening their many knots.  I miss her playing.  I miss her.  This poem brings Erin and her music back to me.


Notes dance through the window:
cheerful young notes
tip-toeing prettily upon the air,
swirling soft, slow pirouettes above
Fall sunset’s deep-green grass;
a blanketing balm
come to rest upon
a tired brow,
a twitching muscle,
an anxious heart.

Youthful hand and hopeful heart
send the bow searching the strings,
like a songbird upon the breeze,
like a breeze along the tree branch,
like tree roots through the earth.

Cleanse me.
Lift me.
Bring me through.