I have always thought one of God's greatest gifts to us is music; those seven notes, infinite ways of expressing happiness or sorrow, solo or in harmonic chords and cadence. Even the birds can sing the notes from God.
If ever I've been envious of something, it's the musical ability some people have to play instruments by ear. Mama's family was a family of music makers, by voice and instrument: fiddles, guitars, pump organ, and brothers and sisters gathering round one another and singing those notes from God.
I always wanted to play the piano. Miss Pauline came to the school auditorium each Wednesday to give piano lessons to those whose parents could afford 50 cents each week for a lesson. I could hear those notes -- learned them by heart -- yearned to play them.
In the spring of 1955, Daddy had sold his horses and bought a little John Deere tractor. He hitched the horse-drawn plows, planters, etc. to the tractor, taught me to drive, and I helped him put in the crop of sorghum cane and cut the hay. As the school term approached, he agreed to pay for piano lessons, so I took the money I had earned working in the peaches and he bought a piano for me; a $100, big, heavy, not-so-pretty piano, but it had the seven notes from God. I ordered a "note finder" to slip over the center keys and before lessons started I was picking out tunes.
I whizzed through the beginners' book; after all, I knew those little lessons by heart, and by December I was ready for my first recital. I felt a bit out of place, being fourteen years old and playing pieces along side elementary students. All went well until the ending and I had to cross my right hand over my left; of course I played the wrong note -- one time.
Mama made a "formal" for me to wear; lots of nylon net in a light green color.
I only took lessons that one year; I had learned enough to play hymns at church and it just seemed I had come to the end of my being able to learn the more difficult pieces. These last few years, when my cat stayed inside, I didn't play much; it seemed to annoy him. I'm rusty at playing now, the piano is out of tune, but I'm feeling an urge to try again, because I love those notes from God, written in praise to him.