This is a field trip I am not going to miss. I checked the box and signed my name with a flourish on that pink piece of paper to ensure I would go to the Orpheum to see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with my seven year old son Benjamin’s class. We would participate in the magnificence that is Beethoven.
After we settled in our seats and the lights dimmed and the chattering of hundreds of young children quieted, the music began. Violins, oboes, flutes; notes weaving grace. Ben sat in the seat in front of me and after a few minutes of listening he began to squirm, wiggle and sigh. He turned to look at me, pleading with wide eyes. Get me outta here. I leaned over, put my hands on his small shoulders and whispered in his ear, “Ben, you don’t know this yet. But, it is a big deal that you are here in this beautiful theater listening to this beautiful music. Look around you. Take this in. You want to remember this day.” He nodded, one quick bob, and pressed his back against the chair.
At the end of the Symphony’s performance the conductor invited us to sing along. A theater full of children and teachers and parents sang a piece of Ode to Joy. Oh, the sound. The wonder of those small voices. Together.
In the bus on the way home I asked Ben, “So, did you have a good time?”
“Yup!” He bounced, the back of his head crashing into the seat behind him. Over and over again, bounce, crash. He stopped. “I cried a little.”
“Happy tears. Because of the music.”
My heart swelled, full of joy, full of a little boy who got it.
When so much of life is measured and scored and assessed, this was a sweet, holy moment. A reminder to leave room. For more than tests and grades and math. Jobs and bills and obligations. We are moving, rushing, changing all of the time. And it’s okay…because this is life. Time doesn’t stop. In the heart of busy I want to remember to enjoy, marvel, revel. To listen. I want to be reached when something sacred happens, to have space inside me marked by music and beauty. A place to catch my breath and a place for the breathtaking.