Make Beautiful Music

Last night I dreamed that I was getting married. My female relatives, young and old, were gathered all around me. It was a consummate summer scene in a fragrant apple orchard with vivid green grass and brilliant blue sky.

Instead of a frothy veil, I wore a simple crown of daisies in my hair. This crown was just like the one I had braided in my kitchen from a bouquet of Stop & Shop daisies shortly before I was married nearly forty-three years ago. This time there was no groom to be seen.

I innately knew that this marriage was mine alone.

I watched my sister approach carrying a banjo, in spite of the fact that she has never played a musical instrument.

She handed the banjo to me, in spite of the fact that I also have never played a musical instrument.

I sat down with this instrument in the midst of the wedding guests and looked down at the fretboard that crossed my lap. It was a light-colored wood that made me think of birch forests. Or maybe aspen.make beautiful music

I tentatively strummed across its taut nylon strings with my thumb, and was surprised to hear amazing music, so I continued to play. I played as if I knew what I were doing and the music kept coming, clear and beautiful.

The relatives moved in closer, surprised at my sudden talent.

And then it was gone.

I think that my dream means that sometimes we underestimate our abilities and our capacity for creating our own joy.

The banjo is a less respected instrument than guitars and violins and cellos, but it’s capable of beautiful music. Just because we’re different doesn’t mean that we can’t be beautiful.

This year, embrace your uniqueness and your dreams of the future. Don’t depend on anyone else to get you there or you may find yourself disappointed.

You and your path, like the banjo, might be uncommon, but they’re no Linda Summersealess deserving of success. You can get there on your own. I know you can.

Happy New Year.

make beautiful music

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