Saturday, May 5, 2007

Greatest night ever

It's taken me a couple days to settle down enough to describe this. On Thursday, I went to my first choir rehearsal at church since Christmas 2000. Being introverted, and not having the best week of my life, I was a little anxious. Okay, scratch that. I was so terrified I couldn't stop my hands from shaking. Once I dug a pencil out of my purse (must have a pencil!), I held onto it because that gave my hand something to focus on - that's how badly they were trembling.

This particular rehearsal was harder for an introvert, because wrapped up in it was a farewell celebration for a beloved choir member who had to suddenly move back to The Netherlands, and there were food, much wine and champagne, and gifts for her. Now, friendly and welcoming choir folk are one thing - friendly and welcoming choir folk after a few glasses of cheer are something else entirely! :-)

Shortly after I arrived, the rector's wife took me in hand, found me a cassock that came as close to fitting as anything ever has before - which means I only had to take it up about an inch - and found my number and showed me where to sit and all. We rejoined the festivities, for as long as I could handle the crowd, and then I wandered back in to take a look at the music. At this point, I wanted to cry. Look at how fast this one is! Look at how high this one goes! I'll never be able to sing this! But all those people were between me and the door - all those people who had welcomed me and hugged me and were so excited that I was joining them. I reminded myself how much I love to sing, how much I love harmony, how much I love making music with others. I reminded myself that we were there to serve God. I still wanted to run. Then a couple of tenors came up and introduced themselves, and I smiled and pretended to be competent and capable. (I have often found pretending to be a very important coping skill, and have often pretended myself right into being able to do something.)

Soon after, we gathered and began to sing. We reviewed the hymns first, then got into the harder stuff. And you know what? It was fun. And it was good. And while I splatted a couple of notes, I acquitted myself far better than I had feared. There was so much cheer and happiness and positivity in the room. When the soprano soloist hit her high A, everyone applauded and cheered for her, and when the bass hit his low G, everyone applauded and cheered for him. It was awesome.

And Sunday morning, I will join these new friends - of whom I can remember maybe two names! - and we will sing together. And I'll join them Thursday and Sunday, and Thursday and Sunday, and it will be very, very good. Can you tell what I'm grateful for today?