I was the youngest person in the crowd, the youngest on a Sunday afternoon at a classical music celebration. The grey hair of wisdom moved around me and filled the wooden seats and I wondered – why was I the youngest in the room? An hour and a half of “music therapy” ensued, the sound of the playful flute, the weeping violin, the cheeky guitar followed by a concerto of voices that filled the amphitheatre a cappella.
What is it that drew me to this place of sound on a Sunday afternoon? And I begged the question of myself, why was I the youngest?
Is it the childlike state of old age that draws us back to our innate appreciation of that which is beautiful? The natural beauty of music that evolves in melodies unfathomable, which in its purest form, only the childlike can perceive? Much like the world famous violinist who stood on the railway station, playing the most intricate of pieces, on a 3.5 million dollar violin for some change, who went unnoticed by the throngs. Except there were those who heard the sounds of the virtuoso and wanted to stop. Not to throw in some change or because they recognised the violinist but because their beings recognised that which was beautiful. And they were the children.
As the poet Billy Collins mused all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub – dub of the mothers heart is an iambic meter, it is life that slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us.” Children have the ability to perceive the beautiful and the strange and the confidence to stare at it, even to their parents’ shame. I perceived myself as the child among the aged and my soul was listening, to the sounds of rhythms, tones and sweet harmonies from the creators of music. And at once with the turning of the string, I found myself as a kin among the aged, knowing the burden of life and feeling all its heaviness and my soul sighed.
Whomever I was, aged or child; I have returned to the childlike being inside of me – the one who admires beauty in all its glory and who is not afraid to stare or to sit on a wooden chair on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the musings of music and all its fancy and I smile because I have come home.