I love it when life takes you by surprise. Like a cool breeze on a relentlessly hot day, there are these little moments when suddenly everything comes into crystal clear focus, and all is right in the world.
Lisa and I went to see the Kansas City Symphony in the park this Labor Day weekend. The weekend itself could not have come at a better time, because I was just tired from the battles and issues that festered at work from the prior week. Also, I love the symphony, and I couldn’t imagine a more comfortable evening to sit outside.
The performance covered show tunes, movie themes, a couple of classics, and ended on “Stars And Stripes Forever.” Then it was time to pack our stuff and get in line with the rest of the traffic leaving the park. As we were packing, the park kindly played some random songs over their loudspeaker so we could listen while we worked. I decided the wait to get home might be a little long, so I took a pit stop.
As I walked back from the outbuilding, I just had to sing along with James Taylor’s “Shower the People,” playing over the sound system. This was not his studio recording he did in the ’70’s, but a live recording done much later. I noticed that the tempo was just a little slower, and it was possible the key was dropped half a step. More than anything I noticed his voice, which sounded weathered, experienced, melancholy, and hopeful all at the same time.
Here is the picture: I am walking up a grassy hill among the dispersed crowd, singing this simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful tune. I look up and see my wife, more beautiful than the day I met her, with the full moon bursting with light above her head, and she is swaying serenely to the music as though it is a cool breeze on a relentlessly hot day. And suddenly everything comes into crystal clear focus, and all is right in the world.