A few months ago, my grandma gave me her violin. She learned to play on it as a girl. She taught my mom to play on it. Mom tried to teach me.
When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate music and musical skills like I do now. Now that I am an adult with responsibilities and no free time, I have decided to take on the task of learning a new instrument. Earlier today, my friend helped me get the fingerboard taped and the strings adjusted so I could start.
She shared something that fascinated me. Violins take on the sound of the person that plays them. The way I make the strings resonate will be different than anyone else. And as those unique vibrations move through the wood, it will, over time, change the way the violin plays.
This evening I sat looking at the violin. I was having a rough day, so I was emotional, but I wasn’t dwelling on anything in particular. I just held it the way you might hold a bottle of wine to read the label, and looked.
It’s well loved. It’s been in existence for nearly 100 years and has been played by many hands in that time. You can tell by looking at the body. And then a thought struck me. In a way, my grandma and my mom are both in this violin. Their playing uniquely changed it. As I learn to play, I am sharing in something special with both of them. And it is likely the last significant thing I will share with my mom this side of heaven.
Now, to start actually playing…