I saw some incredible passion for a profession the other day, but the place where I found it caught me totally off-guard…the foaling of a new colt. A friend owns a horse farm, and has an incredible number of nice people working to make it a wonderful place. I asked her if I might watch the foaling process at some point. When the call came, I was fortunate enough to be there, and I was witness to an amazing experience. It was a non-music experience, for sure, but as I wrote on an earlier social media post, it certainly deserved a song.
The farm manager had delivered this little foal and hundreds of others previously, yet the joy I saw in his eyes as he worked to bring the foal to its mother spoke of total delight in celebrating new life on the farm. A life that once again reminded me of the respected bond between mare and colt, filled with cleaning, standing, feeding, teaching, and nurturing this new creature until the colt is weaned. The mare was a “pro.” The new colt was her 10th and final foal.
Not only was the farm manager there to make the entire process go smoothly, Charlie’s children were there as well. They love watching the foaling process on the farm. Of course, school is a priority, and these children are sometimes limited, depending on when the mare “decides” to have her baby. However, it is a “family thing,” and everyone is involved and participating as observers or assistants.
So…there he is…star on the forehead and everything. I am sorry I left so soon (writing music takes a bit of time), because the new little colt was standing in an hour or so. Those rubbery legs will run in just a few days, under the careful eye of the mom. Life for this colt will change very rapidly, and of course, there is always the possibility that we would see him in the Kentucky Derby. His father won the Breeder’s Cup several years ago.
So…what is my point in this music lover’s post? Several facets of our profession are present in the scenario I just described. There is an element of amazement, awe, love, and passion in our every day routines in the choral classroom, on the performance stage, and in our musical interactions with family and friends. Whether it is in the musical accomplishments of our students or in just knowing that our students might love music enough to always keep it in their lives, we treasure its power over us from generation to generation. One of my dearest friends is a music educator…her husband is also a music educator…they have two sons who are also music educators and another son who is working to bring clean water to third world countries all over the world. Passion for music and service abounds in that household, and the entire household is making the world a more lovely place in some way.
Passion…can it be taught in the ways we live our lives in front of others? I think so. There are some things that are more important than music. We get that…but the focus of our lives as music educators, performers, composers and lyricists is sometimes a mission of connecting with the facet of our process that amazes us over and over again. It amazes us enough to commit and devote our lives to finding beauty in a place where we are convinced it exists…beauty well worth the effort of hard work, sacrifice, and sweat. Sing on!