Thursday, July 7, 2016

Playing from the Heart

One of the joys of summer vacation is more time with books—novels, nonfiction, inspirational and, of course, children’s books. I was so pleased when, during my last trip to the library, I happened to pick up Peter H. Reynolds’ Playing from the Heart. It’s a treasure, not just for children but for people of all ages.

When little Raj plucked and pushed the keys of his family’s piano, he was delighted by the sounds. By the time he was old enough to reach the sustain pedal (and had a few years of practice), his father was equally delighted. The notes flowed. Amazed at his son’s talent, his father hired a piano teacher to nurture it. When the teacher showed him how notes hung on lines, stretching across a page, they “reminded him of zoo animals peering through bars . . . wanting to escape.”

Raj became a skilled pianist and in the process, he lost the joy of creating. The more skilled he became, the more tired he grew until he quit playing altogether. However, the story doesn’t end on a hopeless note. In fact, by the end of the story, “the notes emerged whispery and sweet.”

I hope whatever you’re doing this summer, you’ll be inspired to play from the heart, or perhaps, just play, and give a fresh spark to all of your creative endeavors.

Bench time on the bluffs

A walk to the waterfall

Sharing a moment with a seal

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