The birds sing every morning now; a coyote crosses the driveway from time to time. Turkeys gobble in the bottom lands and rains are passing through. The ponds are beginning to refill and the grass is turning green in the pastures. In this moment it’s hard to believe it wasn’t so many months ago that dust ruled the air and large patches of dirt and overgrazed grass ruled the land.
Quite a few large trees have fallen over the winter months; most have died due to the drought. Some say this is the middle of a twenty-year drought for the area. Regardless, in this moment, as the birds sing, the rains fall, the grass turns green and the leaves break through the buds on the trees, I am thankful for what I have, however much or little that may be.
I understand that the first band teacher I ever had is retiring this year. There were three music teachers I really respect that were responsible for training me in music during the early years. She was one on that short list. For her I have written the following:
There will always be a song in Joshua, Texas. I remember well the first time I heard it; specifically I was in the sixth grade. There were notes that began somewhat confused being played by children whose instruments were gathered, arranged and tuned. As the metronome ticked away, and the years passed, a harmonic sound arose from so many different backgrounds. Finally, I heard a ringing pitch so perfectly in tune that once I heard the sound, it could never be forgotten.
Along with this song were the lyrics whose words were only three: practice, practice, practice. This song is mostly about our triumphs than it is about our failures and has a crescendo that will go on until the end of time. I have never forgotten that song and inside I suspect I will hear it forever.
Thank you, Nancy Fuller Scoggin, for teaching me to play that song. Enjoy your retirement.