I recently brought my piano to my house. My piano has been with me since I was twelve so it has seen me when I was an innocent, sad child. Though I still feel like that girl sometimes, I have grown up into a woman. I grew up to be somebody. I have my own house where I can play my piano as I look out at my magnolia tree while the birds sing their evening songs.
It has been two weeks since I have played. I had committed to playing at least once a week for a solid half hour and want to establish that routine. Playing lifts my spirits and feels great. So I have missed it. Tonight I played my usual: The C Major scale. A page of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise.” A page of Strauss’s “The Beautiful Blue Danube.” My signature recital piece, Ivanovici’s “Waves of the Danube.” I also played a song from a memory, a children’s song from my first piano primer, the sweet “Evening Song.” I ended my half hour with another memorized primer song. I don’t remember the title but I remember it was in G Major and I remember the opening lyrics, “Sing, sing, sing, for today is spring.” Then I began to cry.
Why cry? Because I remember each note and each key. Because the piano has a certain smell, one that reminds me of who I used to be, who I used to want to be, and who I still am. I cried with pride at my ability to make something so sweet and gentle. I recalled how I used to play that little song for an audience of my mom’s parakeets and my brother. I remembered how playing would motivate me to memorize longer and more challenging pieces to play for company and at the annual Christmas recital. I cry because I used to play for myself. I cry because little things, like a simple song, still make me happy. I cry because I can.
It’s good to have my piano home.