I thought the world was sugarcake, for so our master said.
But now I’ll teach my hands to bake our loaf of daily bread.
We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; we’ll do the best we know.
We’ll build our house and chop our wood and make our garden grow.
When I first sang these words as a high school junior at State Choir in Salt Lake City, I thought it was the silliest song ever. I distinctly remember thinking, “This song makes no sense.” Ah, the folly of youth.
I’m a bit overwhelmed by the awesomeness of today’s Sing For Hope concert. All I know at this moment is that my friends and colleagues are first rate, talented and generous and sweet. We have laid some outstanding groundwork for future collaborations with and for Children’s Aid Society. (People are already talking about next year’s event.) But there were also some new connections made today among my friends, folks who didn’t know each other but who discovered many awesome things in common.
Something I forgot to mention in my short speech today was another part of my inspiration for this concert. A couple of years ago, maybe even just last year, my mom asked that instead of giving her birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas presents, we instead give a “random act of kindness” to a stranger. (I think I’ve mentioned this in terms of giving away my post-concert flowers.) This idea has really grown in me this year, and I have sought out opportunities to give back more and more often. This concert was in part a rather large manifestation of that, a late Christmas and early Mother’s Day gift to my mom. Thanks, Mom!
I have not always been a giving person. I think I had a lot to work out before I could be open enough to give without fear of “running out,” without wondering if there would be anything left for me. Or, frankly, before I could even see that anything needed to be given, before I could extend my view beyond myself. But now I think I truly understand the ideas behind the adages “to whom much is given, much is required,” and “the more you give, the more you receive.”
I’m promptly running out of steam, as my post-show high wears off and my nose gets more and more stuffed up (currently I can only breathe through my mouth), so I’m going to wrap this up, unfinished and unfocused as it is. The point I really wanted to make was that I have fully embraced my status of being “neither pure nor wise nor good,” and through the daily work of (metaphorically) chopping wood and building my house, I have found that I have more to give than I ever knew.
I would like to think that we planted some seeds today, both in the hearts of folks who support CAS and other wonderful charities and also in the minds and spirits of the students who saw and heard us perform. I know at least one student in the choir is considering a career in music, and I hope we encouraged her and others to follow that dream. It’s a wonderful life! (Crazy sometimes, but wonderful nonetheless!) If you would like to help us make this garden grow, please consider making a contribution to Children’s Aid Society. When you call or print out the form, please mention Sing For Hope and the music programs. Unlike cooks in the kitchen, it’s impossible to have too many gardeners in this garden...