March 1, 2009
When I was a kid, I wanted to play the piano. My parents thought it was a passing phase, and I would give it up after a month. A large duster collector it would become. We would go to a friends' house, and my eyes would light up when I saw this majestic instrument just waiting to be played. I always asked the owner if I could play it, and would forgo being outside with the other kids, just to have abit of time with my friend, the piano. I didn't know how to read music at the time, so I would gently touch the elegant white keys. The black keys were special and so elite to my eyes. I would never bang on the piano the way some kids would. At a young age, I knew the delights of this beautiful instrument.
When I was a late teen, I decided to take piano lessons from a very sweet ole' lady in my neighborhood. Mrs. Bruin taught all the kids whose homes had pianos. One day, I rang her doorbell, introduced myself and asked her for piano lessons. That began a wonderful friendship between her and I. She taught me how to read music, and would bring cookies and ice tea into the living room. I would take photos of her inside and outside of her house. She lived in one of those historic homes that was built during the Revolutionary times. I loved her crooked staircase! I would visit her quite often, because I still didn't have a piano, and needed to practice somewhere. She loved the company. This went on for a couple of years, and I loved hearing myself use the keys to play music. Was I a budding Chopin? No, but that didn't matter. I played piano (and knew what I was doing) all because Mrs. Bruin was a wonderfully generous Teacher. I can still see her big smile and hear her laughter.
Mrs. Bruin took ill, and it wasn't long before she moved out of her house to live with her daughter, and then a nursing home. I visited her at both places, and then one day she died. Before she became sick, as if she knew what was coming her way, she one day gave me some music books. She said she wanted me to have them. I accepted them graciously, knowing they would always remind me of her. She said to me "it doesn't matter when in your life, or where you are, but you must not give up your desire to play piano. It's in you."
I've lived in several different places in my adult life, whereby a piano would never fit through the door, but that hasn't diminished my dream of owning one. Currently, in our townhouse, with a few modifications, we can place one in the living room. However, with todays' economy, Hubby and I have become more savers than spenders. We will again regain our hope for brighter times, and when we do, oh boy, look out! It won't be a Steinway, my beginning lessons would sound ridiculous on it. Steinways needs a room of their own to show off their sexy curvy lines, with track lighting above. My piano will be pretty and just for me. And everytime I play I will thank Mrs. Bruin for teaching me how to read music, for our laughter and friendship, and for providing me with a place (her home) to play her piano.