Her Smiling Blue Eyes

Music drifted through the rooms and the halls of the small chapel, each note playing out perfectly, their crystalline perfection hanging beautifully in the air, carried by a gentle breeze from the piano.

Appassionato, by Beethoven. As my fingers drift lightly across the keys, I think of this composer, a man who was slowly going death throughout his life and who was told many times to stop composing. It seems that nothing could stop his passion, as he sawed his way through the piano legs to feel the vibrations of the notes.

By the standards of music, I was a late starter on the piano. As in ice-skating, to become a professional pianist, one must usually start at a young age. Though I was taught a few little songs as a child on my cheap little 16 key battery powered keyboard, I lost interest for a while until the opportunity to learn an instrument presented itself in 4th grade.

My best friend showed me a sign up slip for band, and I decided to join on the instrument she had chosen: the clarinet. The first day I got my clarinet, I could not figure out how to play it, and was very upset. It seems I'd forgotten the reed! Soon after this very embarrassing introduction to music, I became very good at the Clarinet and was soon First Chair and the holder of all Clarinet solos.

My notes became more pointed, more joyous as I remembered the time of Middle School, what I must say have been the best years of my life as yet. I was already the First Chair in the Orchestra and in the band, but now the teacher suggested that I start another instrument, and so my instruction on the Saxophone began. Although I do not claim the level of playing on as on the clarinet or piano, I was above average and earned the First Chair in the Jazz Band as well.

The year after that was the Flute, which I have average skill, and then the bells, which I little skill and no patience whatsoever. Then finally, during the summer after eighth grade I began the Piano.

It must have been watching old tapes of Victor Borges playing his beautiful pieces while making it into a comedy act that made me want so badly to play the Piano. The sound of the piano was tantalizing, and if made a food would be the most delicious and richest Fudge and Cheesecake you have ever tasted. I wanted to be able to make such beautiful music myself, and had an old upright wooden piano by the second month of the summer.

It was slow going at first, but slowly my skills began to grow beyond simple scales, with the help of my music teacher. Now I can play the wonderful works of my favorite composers, Mozart and Beethoven. Now I can bring smiles to faces and laughter to the downtrodden.

I came to end of the piece, not even realizing it. I have come to believe that most pianists will get to the point where just as in speaking, and typing even that you do not have to look at the keys or the music, you simply let your fingers do the work. Sometimes the key to playing is to simply not think at all and let your mind and fingers take over.

The chapel is now quiet, and I can hear my own soft breathing and the chirps of birds outside the window. I slowly stand up and close the music book and piano, making sure the ivory keys are covered and protected. I stretch a little, sighing a little at the slight pain in my aching back.

I walk through the hallways and pass the small statue of Mary, shining glorious in her polished bronze. I enter the room and look at the altar, startled that there is someone there, kneeling on their knees in blue robes, obviously praying to their Lord.

I clear my throat a little, and the figure turns a bit. It is a woman, that I can see now, but I cannot clearly see her face. She was smiling, and for some reason I suddenly felt peaceful and calm.

"I'm sorry, I did not think that anyone was here but me. I hope you didnít mind my playing."

The figure looked at me with kind blue eyes that shone with some inner light, and I could not keep my eyes away from them. They were so full of honesty, and life.

"It did not disturb me. I was merely praying for more souls like yours to live in this world. It is good to understand passion as it is love, rather than lust like so many believe. You walk the true path, my child. Be good to yourself, and someday you will be welcomed into the arms of God."

She smiled again as I stood there, smiling back, my eyes cast downward for a moment as I stood motionless, her words filling me with a greater inner peace than I had ever felt. Like everything in the world was right, and my life was full of love.

"But your life is full of love, and someday you will be awarded."

I looked back up, but the kneeling woman was already gone. I slowly left the room and headed out through the hallway, but stopped short when I saw the small Mary statue on its marble pedestal. Its features had changed, and now she was a picture of love, with a smile in her eyes.

I left the chapel, music in hand, to spread that love to all I met. I will never forget those honest blue eyes that looked at me and declared me a good person. I hope to live up to her standards and do as much as I can to walk in the path of God.