Well, the best laid plans must be held loosely. After all of the work and publicity for the Happy Valley Children's Chorus Concert at the beginning of the month we had to postpone it until Sunday, December 21st---that is this coming Sunday at 1:30! (For local friends, it will be held upstairs in the First Congregational Church of Amherst, 165 Main Street, Amherst, MA, 01002.)
My apologies to anyone out there who came and did not find a performance. My beloved father, at age 90 1/2, suffered repeated heart attacks the week of Thanksgiving and I hurried to be with him and my family. It was a gift, as those were his final hours with us. As we hold the concert this Sunday, I will keep in mind an experience we had during the ice storm that arrived the day after we returned home. It made such an impression that I wrote a little song about it:
Two little juncos landed on the railing
Jumping all around, flu-flapping their wings.
They did a side-step like dance partners,
Bobbing and bowing like anything!
They didn't mind the chilling weather,
Freezing rain just pouring down.
They dipped and twirled and tipped their heads back,
Opened their beaks with a joyful sound!
Can't help but think they were my parents
Showing us their joy, that their song goes on.
They're back together and oh, so happy,
Free as the birds, their love goes on!
There may be stormy days with some dark clouds.
There will be challenges, oh yes.
But look at those birds right in the midst of it,
Singing their song brings happiness!
So, as the children sing their songs they will bring me happiness in the midst of my sorrow. May they do the same for you, whatever you may be experiencing this holiday season. Perhaps you are free from pain or sorrow and your inner life reflects the stubborn cheer of the holidays. Perhaps you carry other difficulties, in spite of the lights and glitter. Either way, I promise you that being in the presence of 18 children singing songs of community and hope, you will experience community and hope. If it can fit into your life, make it a priority!