Wednesday, March 25, 2009
This afternoon I took my bagpipes for what I thought was a secluded walk in a corner of the park. Somehow, however, a small person of my acquaintance found me and coaxed me into coming over and socializing with some other friends who were there. Somebody asked me to play a bit, a request always guaranteed to make me forget I ever knew a single tune. . .I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and played a short set. When I finished at last, the sight my eyes opened to was one of the dearest I could ever have imagined. Great big blue eyes, bigger brown eyes, freckled noses, braids, tousled hair--an overwhelming number of children had gathered in front of me, and were standing stock-still, regarding my musical efforts with the puzzled solemnity that I myself might reserve for physics. As the last notes died away, the crowd burst like fireworks on the Fourth of July, pinwheeling back to basketball games and swings, though a few remained to cautiously observe the silenced instrument at close range, reaching out tentative fingers, slowly least they awaken it again.