Over the weekend Sophie made her official visit to BYU as a new recruit for the upcoming 2015 women's volleyball season. She had a wonderful time with her teammates, she loved the classes and events she attended, and she was a little caught off guard by the concept of cold weather, which manifested itself plainly to her while attending a football game one late afternoon.
That's what happens when you're Canadian but raise your children in the desert, dear reader.
On Saturday we attended a performance of the 2014 MS/HS Honor Orchestras, an annual event wherein students from across the school district audition for the chance to play in a top orchestra of their peers. The orchestras have just six rehearsals with a guest conductor to prepare for the performance. They also compete for seating within the orchestra and this year Izzy was the concertmaster!
I was struck by one conductor's comments during the performance...he has travelled and worked with orchestras and musical programs all over North America and said there is no public school music program which can compare to the one we have in Las Vegas. It made me feel both incredibly fortunate and a little sad. I've seen many instances wherein making musical instruction available to all children has transformed the lives of individuals who otherwise would have never had such opportunities.
There's nothing like good music to express and access the far reaches of the soul. It troubles me that the serious pursuit of such knowledge, that the pursuit of so many great opportunities, is often the privilege of an elite few.
Every child should be able to saw away on a violin, if his little heart so desires. Every child should have access to pencils and paper, buckets of clay, drum sticks, and ballet slippers.
Music is, for me, the one foreign language I knew how to teach my children. I've always wished we were a family who slipped easily between a rainbow of tongues, from Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Swahili, to Russian, French, and Chinese. Imagine the beauty of so many words, of so many ways to express what it is you want to say! I feel giddy just thinking of it.
But not every dream fits into reality quite as we picture it and still we are a house filled with beautiful sounds, with singing, soaring passages, and deep, sonorous tones.
The gift and blessing of this is not lost on me, though I often wonder if I fully realize its effect on our lives.
There's a passage of scripture in the Book of Mormon which says "lay hold upon every good thing." Through the experience of parenthood, especially, I've gained a sense we cannot appreciate the sum total of what such efforts bring, both to us and others.
It's a means of coming closer to God, and in that journey we experience some sense of the destination, every step of the way.