Thursday, May 24, 2007

food for the soul

Today was a beautiful day. Instead of my usual afternoon of taking Jonathan to nursery school and doing errands while I wait for him, I let Rich handle that assignment and instead went to a noon-hour concert at St. George's Cathedral. This was the first in a series of Thursday concerts they are having throughout the summer; I've never gone before but decided to go to this one and invited my friend Lori to join me. A young tenor named Christopher Mayell was the performer, and I really enjoy listening to tenor vocalists. He sang a number of different pieces, most of which I didn't know, although a few were in English and familiar, such as "The Water is Wide", "Ash Grove", and "Down By The Salley Gardens".

The high point was the final piece, a duet which he sang with another young man. It is quite a famous duet from the opera "The Pearl Fishers" by Bizet. I realize all that makes me sound very highbrow and la-di-da, but in fact all I know is that I love this piece of music. I had to go on the internet to find out exactly what the song is about. In the song, the two men are in the temple and see a beautiful woman appear. They are instantly smitten with her and sing back and forth about how lovely she is. Then they resolve not to let their love for her destroy their friendship, but to let it unite them even more closely. It was a beautiful duet: a perfect ending to a beautiful concert.

This experience reminds me of the importance of taking time to do enjoyable things like this when the opportunity arises. As parents of young kids Rich and I realize there are lots of things we just can't do at this time in our lives, and accepting our limitations, rather than rebelling against them, is the best thing to do. But that doesn't mean we can't just say "I want to go to a concert" or "I want to join the church baseball team" or whatever. Doing what you love--whether playing a sport, or listening to beautiful music, or reading a good book--provides food for the soul.

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