PIANO: Dancing to your own drum

Happy New Year!

A more reflective blog today with some inspirational thoughts to awaken your fresh new year.

On a walk the other day, I was lucky enough to see a woodpecker. This downy little guy was tapping out quite the cadenza, with surprisingly LOUD syncopated rhythms and contrasting little squeaks (SO CUTE!!!) in between. For such a small bird, he/she put on quite a show. (I walked on the other side of the street so as not to disturb his musical activities).

See his little red head?

See his little red head?

I could hear his sounds long before I saw the actual bird. The racket, the sheer volume of the tapping was incredible, something you would expect from a very large creature. And as I approached, I was amazed to see the woodpecker was not much bigger than my hand.

Small things can have a BIG impact. This tiny woodpecker was making a big noise because he was himself, doing what he did best, doing what he was meant to do.

I found this little friend so inspirational. When we do something, anything that is in harmony with what we love to do, it does make waves in our environment. Even as simple as putting you in a better mood. This means you will be more likely kinder and more patient with others….who will in turn have more compassion for those they deal with…and the effect ripples outwards.

When I was 20 and contemplating a life in music versus a life in science or pre-med, I was so reluctant to dedicate my life to music. I didn’t feel that an artistic life could contribute to the good of society in the way that a doctor or a scientist could. And besides, I had more opportunities open to me as a young woman going into science than I did as a pianist.

Almost twice as much time has gone by since my career decision was made. The gift of seeing this lovely avian messenger the other day reminds me of how wrong I was to think of science versus music. It doesn’t matter if I had followed science or music, the difference was love. I did not love science the way I loved art.

And love is enough. We can sometimes be obsessed with prestige, the spotlight, the applause, the approval of and opinions of others. We feel a desire to tell the world how special we are (and hear this validation back from the world). Or maybe we feel a desire to always be perfect, to always be “right.”

Yet, all we have to do is be like my little red-headed friend. Be who we are. Do all that we love in a unassuming way, whether that is practicing music, giving a concert, making jam, or playing with your dog. The impact on our environment will be immeasurable and perhaps even beyond our understanding.

And the woodpecker reminds us…the song of the heart never goes unnoticed.

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I’d love nothing better than to hear from you! Happy New Year!

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