Gardening, Music, Reflection

When September Ends

I am thankful for the seasons. I believe that the seasons were made so we could look forward to the changes in nature. As much as I love the summer, and all the things that make summer so wonderful, I am grateful for the time when September ends. The autumn equinox brings about a change in season, when the abundant life of Spring and Summer gives way to the changes of Fall. The leaves begin to turn, the days grow shorter, the weather becomes cooler. Life, in a sense, is preparing to slumber.

We are enjoying an early change to Fall this year. Every year is different, and no one knows if the change will happen at the beginning of October, or if it will happen near the end of October. I love the fact that the weather will change earlier this year. We get more time to experience the nostalgia and the notions of Fall.

I can’t really explain the gratitude I feel for the change of seasons. I am learning that there are seasons to my own life. Some seasons of my life feel like the world is a frozen tundra, where I am surrounded by white sheets of ice, waiting for the sun of spring to melt the frost. Other seasons include the joyous outbreaks of spring, where I feel like I can fly with the eagles. My life is flourishing and I am growing in the rain and the sun. The season of spring happily greets the warmth of summer, and the two combine their strengths to ensure a long stretch of development and potential.

When September ends the time has come for the approaching harvest. All of the growth, the stretching, and the endurance of summer’s heat prepare my heart and my mind for the upcoming harvest: the test of my growth. What have I accomplished this year? What have I learned through trials and joys? What am I producing, my figurative fruit, that will pass on to the next generation? Are my branches and roots sturdy enough to bring me through the winter? Will I be able to hibernate in peace, and await for next spring’s glorious return? Will I yield to the Creator, to harvest the depths of my soul?

Lyrics to the famous Green Day Song:
Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last, wake me up when September ends.
Like my fathers come to pass, seven years has gone so fast, wake me up when September ends.
Here comes the rain again falling from the stars, drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are.
As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost, wake me up when September ends.


The impact of music in my life

My interest of music began at the age of five years. I used to watch my mother play the piano with ease and joy. One day I climbed up next to her on the piano bench and said, “Teach me, Mommy!” She admitted that she had only taken nine months of piano lessons as a child, and she didn’t feel confident to teach me the rules of piano.

A few months later I was introduced to my first piano teacher, and I began to study basic piano instructions. I still have my first textbook in my possession, and it’s dated “June 22, 1978.” I continued with my weekly lessons for the next ten years, until I decided that enough was enough. I was fifteen years old, and I was stubborn.  I was tired of driving to and from the lesson each week; I wanted to pursue something else of interest.

As I look back on the years of those lessons, the dreaded hours of forced practice, and the intimidating competitions and recitals, I have bitter-sweet feelings of those memories. A part of me wishes that I had continued with the study of piano through the college years, and a part of me wishes that I had branched out to other forms of music. I did try to take voice lessons at the community college, but I didn’t have the vibrato to accompany my pitch and range. I tried to step back into the world of piano lessons at a private college, but since I had forgotten so many years of practice I decided to quit before I embarrassed myself out of the major.

Although I believed that my experience in piano was merely a “skill” and not a true talent, I have realized that there is joy to be found in the art of making music. Beautiful music is enjoyed by millions around the world every day. There are countless versions of music within each culture that define the people who connect to that form of beauty.

Music is a trance, a hug, a silence breaker, and a mood-swinger. It drives men to its knees, and causes waves of emotion to build in the soul. Music is a life force, and it creates a bond between two people. It comforts the lonely, accuses the guilty, elates the happy, and completes the spirit.

The essence of music has saved my life. In times of deep despair I have turned to music for comfort, for encouragement, for laughter, for opening up my mouth and expressing my joy. Music has the ability to stir up the body to movement, and brings life into the dull surroundings. I cannot imagine a world without music.

I have to say thank you to the teachers who spent countless hours training my brain and my hands to play those 88 keys. I have to thank my parents for providing the funds and the time they sacrificed for my lessons. I have to thank the men and women who used their knowledge and creativity to write the tunes that would become a beautiful song.

I admire the talents of the people who can create a new song from their mind. I admire the people who have the strength and determination to perform the music for others to enjoy. I wonder if they feel the way I do, where I know that music is embedded into my bones and my soul. I just haven’t figured out how to make the music come out of me the way they have. I admire their desire to share their passion and provide that joy.

Music is a form of beauty that is subjective, objective, passive, aggressive, colorful, and unique to each composer. Music will be passed down through the generations, yet portions of it may die with a change in a culture. Throughout the ages the essence of music remains; it is alive and life-sustaining for those who embrace it.