My writing has stalled. The last few weeks, I’ve been busier with band than I’ve been since High School. We put on a successful Pancake Breakfast with Santa this weekend, and the concert band had an outstanding concert at the church where we’ve been practicing. We’ve had some great successes, and my time has been well spent.
But the event that made it all worth it took place last night, at the Camden Springs retirement home in Elk Grove.
Normally, RC Swing practices on Tuesday nights, but last night, we went to Camden Springs and performed. We set up in a foyer, cramped together tighter than normal. We kept the tiled area in front of us clear, in case the residents wanted to dance. On the other side of the small dance floor sat several sofas in a semi circle. A balcony stood above us, allowing more residents to look down and listen to us play.
As we set up our equipment, people came to watch, eager for our performance. One man approached me. He used a walker, and his hands were painfully twisted with arthritis. He told me he played bass. I knew that our bass player was going to be late, so I invited him to join us, without really giving it much thought.
His name was Ed, and he did great! When Geno, our regular bass player arrived in the middle of the first set, Geno took a seat and enjoyed the show. Ed wound up playing both sets with us, and had a blast doing it.
He wasn’t the only one that enjoyed the show. People told us, with tears in their eyes, how the music we played took them back. One man talked to me after the performance about his time playing coronet with the British Army. Another woman told us how it was a perfect end to her 81st birthday.
This is why we play music. To touch lives, and make people happy for a little while.
My hope is that someday, my writing will touch people’s lives the way my music did Tuesday evening. Even if it’s just one person, like Ed on the bass. It’s that kind of joy that makes all the difference in the world.