Monday, May 12, 2014

A house concert and the cycles of life

The birth of my nephew inspired me to do a radio show with a theme of family. I played songs about a number of things related to this theme, but one song that was particularly in honor of my nephew's birth was "Child of Mine" by Bill Staines.

Four and a half years later, I was in a room in which Bill Staines was singing that song while my nephew frolicked about, ignoring the music.  He was making a loop, jumping off the bed onto a futon on the floor, through a folding chair, and back to the bed again. 

It was a house concert, attended by maybe two dozen people, mostly friends and family to each other.  As I sat there seeing the children frolicking, it struck me that people have been gathering together for music in the evening for millenia.  Some things change.  It was not always the case that people were invited to such gatherings by way of Facebook.  It was not always the case that my nephew was one of the frolicking children.  His father was born when I was 15, so he was the one who was the frolicking child when I was in my teens and 20's.  And before that, when I was about 4 or 5, I was the one dancing about while the grownups sat. 

This time of year, the new green leaves appear on the trees.  Each autumn, the leaves fall and die, but each spring, new life awakens.  These are not the same leaves that were on the trees last year, but the follow the same patterns.  And so too do humans follow the same patterns -- birth and death, joy and sorrow, childhood and old age.  The cycles stay the same year after year, but the faces change -- each generation, different individuals go through these cycles.

The morning after a concert, I went to a cafe for coffee and a scone.  I went to that cafe once before, two years ago.  It was my brother who found it.  I don't live near it, but I had traveled to the area for the concert, so I took the opportunity to pay the cafe a visit.  I sat in the same seat that I sat in two years ago.  Two years ago, my brother sat across from me.  He never will again.  He has left this earth.  I stared out the window so the people in the cafe would not see my tears.

The cycles of life are eternal, but each individual who passes through these cycles is unique and irreplaceable. 

I want to record people's stories so that we can remember those who have gone before.

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