I went to a hospital, although for the first time it was not to actually see someone. I was not working so I took my mother to the other side of town for an appointment. I kept her company while she was in the waiting room for what seemed like forever. After she left the main waiting area, they moved her in to another, even smaller waiting area. In the meantime, I had not eaten yet, so I decided to wander off in search of food. There were no restaurants close by. However, the hospital was across the street, which had a cafeteria. In the relatively short time I’ve lived here, I have been to that hospital numerous times to visit family.
After entering the lobby, I heard beautiful music coming from a piano in the corner of the lobby next to a waiting area. An elderly woman sat on a bench, pressing the keys of a shiny black piano. Several people sat around the lobby, a few listening, while others spoke to one another. After hearing the sweet sounds coming out of the piano, I decided to sit and listen for a while. I did not catch the beginning but stayed until the end.
When she finished, I stopped by to thank her for playing. After complimenting her beautiful gift, she humbly mentioned she could not play as well she once did. Arthritis been done a number on her hands and fingers. She may have been off key at times or missed some notes, but I refused to believe it was anything but beautiful. As far as I was concerned, as an unpaid volunteer she did more with her elderly, arthritic body to bless others than many people ever do. I told her I did not recognize a single song. She laughed and informed me they were long before my time. I thanked her once more for sharing her gift, then headed to the cafeteria for some lunch.
While eating lunch, I thought about how the sounds of instruments have changed throughout the years. Music can be timeless. Even though no words were sung, every stroke of a key resounded in a harmonious way that uplifted my spirit. Most people have heard terrible music, at least terrible in their opinion. For the beginner learning how to play any instrument, they quickly find this out. But as they master their gift, the world listens to the sweet sounds that follow. They play songs that sooth our suffering in ways that words cannot adequately describe. To any musicians out there, thank you for giving the rest of us the gift of music!