He patted the old couch cushion with his aging hand and sent a cloud of sand and dust into the air. The motion reminded him both of how long it had been since he’d sat in this room and also of the pain in his hands. The tendons in his palms and the joints of his fingers had been aging prematurely for some time. At forty, some days he felt like he was a man twice his age.
He turned and moved toward the french doors that opened up onto the old cedar deck overlooking the great lake. A breeze moved in off the water and caressed his hair and shoulders. It’s going to be okay, son, it said as it wrapped its way around his back and into the dusty room.
He pulled in a determined breath and returned to complete his task. He took his guitar out of its case and propped it up against the wicker sofa. He carefully lifted his wife’s keyboard, so as not to further assault his throbbing hands, and set it down on on the matching coffee table. He pushed it gently so it was positioned in front of the arm chair and plugged it in.
His friends arrived with another guitar, a drum, and whiskey in hand. They found places to sit and readied their instruments. His wife entered quietly and shortly afterward. She sat behind her keyboard and rested her fingertips on the keys. This was a sacred moment.
The waves moved across the sand below, washing the shore with new, clean spring water. They were calling to them. Calling to the song that pushed at the walls of their hearts.
A single strum of the guitar and the music began to pulse in their chests, longing to be freed from its cage. It had been far too long.
The notes began to dance from fingers and hands. Eyes closed and breaths held. The wind blew through the old cottage and the drum began to beat. It echoed their heartbeat. It dared them to rise.
And so the music, which had been buried deep within the soil of their hearts for many years, sprouted its first spring shoot. With it came the once guarded tears, now freed from their wells, and the hope that the dreams that had faded into distant memory were not in fact dreams at all, but vision for a future that lay brightly and irrevocably ahead.
I’ve found that, sometimes in life, my greatest dreams have had to die and be buried in the ground of my heart. Like Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This was surely the story of his life, and it must be the story of ours. While the seed lies deep in that soil though, it is not dormant. It is alive and it is growing roots.
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