a penny & a song
This morning, when going through my purse, I found a penny. Big deal, you say. Well, when you’re living in a foreign country the thought may cross your mind as to why you didn’t take advantage of converting that single piece of currency for use in your new home. Ha! Well, instead of adding it any sort of exchange pile, I’ve decided to keep it. This lonely little piece of copper will be one of my small pieces of home that will keep me company in my new country of residence, this place we call Thailand.
Now, how many of you have ever lived overseas? I’m not talking about a visit, a vacation, a short-term mission trip (not that any of those experiences are any less valuable, I’m just working for conversation sake right now), I’m talking about really living day-to-day in a foreign land. If you have, then you’ll truly understand what I mean when I say that living in another culture is really quite difficult, and yet so rewarding. Everyday tasks seem to take much longer. Every location seems so far away and confusing to get to. Life just gets… different. It almost seems as if I am a child again, wandering around listening to the grown-ups talk about certain things, unable to understand them myself, and the only thing I can do is wait until I’ve grown enough to also be a part of the conversation. I am learning how to live all over again.
But, it’s ok.
Among all the joys and stresses of moving to Thailand, there is one (of a small collection) thing that I am able to hold onto… and that would be music. I am so grateful to my mom for always singing, playing music, encouraging my brother and I to be creative, for giving us a love and appreciation for all types of music. As a child, my mom took me to piano lessons, put me in choirs and musicals, and was always there to support me. Even when I complained about practicing scales, or as my skills developed I drove the teachers nuts with my desire to play by ear rather than the page, she encouraged me to keep going. I now have this gift I carry around with me that can give me joy at any time, through any trial, and break any bonds of stress I may have.
These past few months have been exhausting. The first days in Thailand were freeing, yet still a bit stressful as I tried to remember everything I had learned living here before… and then I found it. There it was, shiny and black, clean and well-tuned (a surprise considering this climate!), waiting in a big open room, surrounded by walls of glass, with a beautiful breeze. Just for me. A Yamaha upright piano in the meeting room at the OMF Bangkok Home where we are staying. Anyone who knows me, also knows that my ideal place to play would be in an open room with lots of open windows and a light echo. So, of course, I played. I played for perhaps an hour or so, windows open, music flying through the air all about the compound, and for that hour I played, I felt free. For the hour I played, I was able to release all my worry and stress through my fingers on the keys. For that hour I played, I was able to both rejoice in and use the gift I have to bless others.
And for that hour I played, I was happy. 🙂