It Starts with a Dream and Middle C
In one of my morning devotions, I read a quote by Robert Frost that has resonated with me for years, “The best way out is always through.” Considering my love for the mountains, my interpretation of this simple yet significant passage is, ‘we cannot reach the peak without ascending the climb.’
Discipline-required goals and aspirations seem to be attainable within our conscience but lots of time and discipline are the requisites in bringing them to life. That is if we truly want to achieve our lifelong dreams. How bad we want something determines how much we are willing to commit to the process. Of course, there are those who are gifted with God-given talents, and whatever they aspire to do, is done with ease. But for the most part, talent is usually honed and refined by the diligent discipline of repetition. As a result, we may reach our goal with excellence but not without the enduring pain of having to do it over and over again.
My lifetime dream was to play the piano, not just play but also learn to play “Moon River” effortlessly. With all good intentions, I shelved the idea till I had the time to invest, and thus, for many years, playing the piano was just a dream. Then a friend asked me how my piano lessons were coming along. At that moment, I realized if I never played (or even tried), it would be one of my biggest regrets. Immediately, I started my search for a piano instructor who would be willing to teach this 55-year-old beginner adult.
Determined to play the piano, I found an instructor (who later became a close friend), bought an electric piano, and started taking lessons. Like all beginning piano students, my first lesson was to find ‘Middle C’ and learn the notes on the scale. Once that was accomplished, I then had to learn the other basics: half, quarter, and eighth notes, treble and bass clefs, and how to count. Then there was the daily restraint of practicing.
Of all the fundamentals of learning the piano, practicing is the criterion for how much one really wants to play. It is the catalyst that determines whether you are “all in or out?” One would think that carving out at least a half-hour a day would be easy but it took some time to put my Netflix binge on pause and toss out all the home décor catalogs in order to get acquainted with my new musical instrument. After getting past the horrific amateurish sound coming from my keyboard, I kept my fingers moving across the ivory until I was brave enough to play with the door open. If it wasn’t for “Moon River” looming over me, I might have jumped off but the dream never went away. To learn how to play that iconic classic, I had no choice but to practice, practice, practice. Amazing how one song can make a big dream come true.