When I designed and built this cabin my wife and I now live in, I added onto it a 12×14 foot library. It has an arched entry from the main room, two walls of windows, and one wall full of books on shelves. Taking up most of the wall facing the interior of the cabin there sat a mahogany piano that we bought on a whim while shopping for furnishings.
The piano was old, but top of the line. It’s tone reminded one of Vaudeville and the glory days of a honky tonk saloon. It looked good, fit well into the informality of the room, but there was one thing wrong . . . it was a very sad piano.
Day after day she sat there along the back wall of the sunlit room, alone and forlorn, silently waiting for somebody to at least run their fingers across her keys . . . but nobody did. When I walked by on the way to a book I could feel her sadness, but as I was too busy doing other things, I ignored her anyway.
Besides that, we also have a cello in the same predicament, and a dulcimer, and at least four guitars, and various other instruments all the way down to a didgeridoo. No one pays much attention to them either. The musical instruments in our cabin live a miserable existence. They have become ornaments hanging out in a library just to make it look good . . . how sad is that?
Anyways, the other day I asked my wife if we ought to sell the piano in order to free up the back wall to make more room for the record albums. She agreed and went off to town to talk to a friend who teaches music to see if he wanted it and how much it was worth. Long story short, the guy says he knows a little girl whose parents are rather poor and that perhaps she would like to have it.
My wife comes home and tells me and I, being me, said, “free? What the hell, I thought we were going to SELL it! We paid a lot of money for the thing we ought to at least . . . “
I give stuff away all the time, I really do, but a piano? That was kinda out of my give away range, but I relinquished after my wife told me the whole story about the little girl and how much she loved playing and how good she already was and she might even be one of those gifted few if only she had the opportunity and . . . “‘Ahh ok, what the hell, it is Christmas,” I said. We agreed to give the little girl the piano.
A week later the dad showed up with two friends and between the four of us we managed to get the piano out the door and down the steps to the waiting trailer he had hooked to his pickup truck. The guys were nice, it all went smoothly and I had a good feeling about the whole thing. The little girl gets a piano, I get the extra room in the library for the shelf unit I wanted to build . . . win, win situation all around.
The other day my wife saw the teacher in town and he told her how much the little girl loves the piano and how ecstatic she was when she saw it. He said she plays it constantly and at five years old he has never seen anybody play so well. “She is just a natural,” he said.
As I sit here in front of the fireplace thinking about the piano and the little girl, and how absolutely wonderful I feel regarding the fact that we gave it to her. . . . not sappy wonderful, just a really, really good feeling wonderful, kinda like I just made a splash in the river of life or something . . . can’t explain it any better than that. No accolades necessary, I doubt the little girl even knows our name and yet we all have connected in such a profound way. . . .
I’m sure that the piano is content now also in it’s new love affair with the little girl . . . but wait! I believe I just heard a long sigh coming from the library. I think it’s coming from the old cello and she is really pissed off . . . I may have to do something about that also.