Small Beginnings

Soft chords of a guitar floated out from somewhere around the corner and the next, as I followed my seventeen year-old friend, Maggie, from one short hall to another, turning here, there, around the bend to a few chairs along a wall facing a line of several closed doors.

A place where symphony begins…and I could almost feel it… soft and billowy around me. Like fresh-cleaned linen, breezing out from a garden line, sweet, on a zephyr of air.

Ah…there… down the hall to my left… was the source of fingertip melody.  A young man, sitting cross-legged on the floor strumming, playing his guitar as if he were all alone, bestowing a gift for an unseen guest.  Or maybe… just for himself.

I took the last seat with my book, preparing to wait as Maggie knelt to pull her music books and oboe from her bag…letting the soft notes sift peace over me… laying aside the concern of something unpleasant ahead for my afternoon. In this moment, I thought… justYourloveliness.

A door opened to the smiling chatter of her teacher to the student now leaving, praise for her work to the waiting mom, greeting for Maggie, a glance my way – then the heavy door, sharply closed again behind them.

A lengthy stillness from behind those doors made me wonder momentarily… Are these rooms a bit sound-proofed?

    Yet… playful notes of piano keys,  emanating from corridors somewhere off to the right, danced a lilt every now and then, across the chapter pages open in my lap… like instrumental voices piping here and there between paused silences.  My old ever-love for putting images to the sound of an orchestra tuning up before a show, or dream-listening to my friend’s kids practicing piano while late day’s sunlight played leafy shadows on the wall in front of them…or even farther back, recalling the warm shine of polished wood floors in school rooms of time where I walked and sat and played beside music and class pageant rehearsals… washed over me anew.

A sort of drinking in the cozy warmth, the homeyness of being here, peeking in on this moment… The Mr. Holland’s Opus sort of familiar, yet long ago feel, of being part of something…grand…even among the ordinary… something that old brick school buildings always evoke in me.

Suddenly… the clear, dulcet tones of an oboe – Maggie’s! – bubbled up and spilled over into a momentary piece she was playing, like water over stones in a brook.  An ephemeral, light-skipping tone, somehow reminding me of a hymn of praise that seemed to ripple Latin words across my mind and onto my lips… something like, mirabilis… (miracles?)…  Yet, I knew she was breathing out exercises, more than any specific tune.

Pauses… The soft murmur of voices, her teacher gently instructing…  Try this… oh, that was excellent, Maggie…   And a smile I sensed in Maggie’s quiet, thank you…  Then, more short bursts of notes burbling upon the air, like sudden effervescence poured into a clear glass, liquid bubbles that dip and rise from bottom to top.  Just notes… no real melody… but light and airy and joyful… as, mmm… birdsong.

Memories of Maggie playing on stage in orchestra…sure and strong…tender and beautiful… wafted through my thoughts.  And I realized, it all starts here… in small beginnings.

  Have you ever felt like you are spending endless hours spinning your wheels on one tiny detail?  

Hardly making a dent in the overall picture you are trying to paint… or just taking tiny baby steps across the strides of your dreams?

Wondering how this little part you are holding in life can ever make a difference, beautiful or inspiring…or otherwise?

Mmm… Me, too.

It seems too rare when we get to see our chair, our place in the orchestra that our one little life is essential to creating.

So much of the time, all we can hear are just notes we are making…sometimes squeaking, sometimes heart soaring…here and there.

       One little bird piping.

Yet… even as we practice…take those steps…God brings us into the big picture.  Shows us a glimpse of what might be when you are lifting your voice, I am breathing out my notes, another is drumming out a beat and yet another singing across strings.

It begins in the small.

In the repeated strokes, memorized tones, learning of our days.

In a word, a nod, a smile.

In a prayer lifted to God in praise, in hope, in joy or sorrow.

In Him, taking our hand and leading us through the music books, the notes of time… saying, Try this… a little more here, no take it this way...and, oh that’s it! Excellent! Teaching…guiding…letting us go…sending us out, free

In the Maestro taking up his baton and leading you and me with… Now!

     The door opens again upon my musing, her teacher stepping out as Maggie gathers her things to leave, allowing the next student in.   “We spent the first half hour just reading up,” the teacher explains that quiet time before the first sweet notes I’d heard of her oboe lesson.  “Then… the music!”

Ah… yes.  Then, the music!

Bringing my young friend to her one hour lesson  this day…as Maggie’s mom drove her younger sister, Cait with a C, across highways to another learning step of joy… reminded me of times when other adults had been there to help me get from place to place when it was impossible for Mom to do it for one reason or another.  A broken down car, or another necessary commitment.  My aunt, picking me up at Junior College… another close friend running me to painting class…  a sometimes forgotten part of those whose “little steps” made a special difference in ordinary moments of my life…

Making me think in this small gift of time…

Thank you Lord for these… our little moments that sing!

©  Pam Depoyan

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

~ Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Rose : Red rose on branch in garden Stock Photo What in your life seems like a small beginning to you today?

Linking with:

A Holy Experience

The Wellspring

With  Cheryl for her True Vine Challenge,    Check out her brand-new community!   And with WLWW, Walk with Him Wednesdaywith Always Alleluia as part of her linkup,  Encore! Your Favorite Posts From The Month Of July


About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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15 Responses to Small Beginnings

  1. Pam~~
    Written beautifully, with deep meaning in each word. “Small Beginnings” rings with me as I decided to join a Local Writing Group here in our small town. An Invitation to join had been extended repeatedly to me-as I had to say No-“just too much Physical Pain today” and yet here would come another “Please Join us-We learned you Blog-We want to hear your story!”

    I braved it-telling PAIN to move aside, just a bit-so I could manage this “Small Beginning.” A huge step-yet the reaction to my words of those sitting around the table stunned me. Tears filled the eyes of each person-even a man who is a doctor could not look at me for a few moments. The true face of Chronic Pain is Hard to look at and these people honored me with such love.

    A “Small Beginning” that meant more to me than I could ever explain. A wonderful blessing.

    Thank you for writing this Pam.

    • Martha, Thank you for sharing that with me! I love how God can speak these words to us each in different ways…as many shades as the rainbow. I’m so glad you could go to the writing class and that you had the blessing in sharing your words, in responses around you. Small beginnings so often lead to huge blessings! 🙂 May this be just the beginning! Bless you, Martha.

  2. Diane says:

    Once again, The Holy Spirit’s timing is perfect.

    What in my life seems like a small beginning? I can answer that.

    Church – going to church/connecting at church/my place in this body… I’m anxious to get to the next level. The next step. But, I know some healing still needs to take place.

    Small beginnings for sure! But, I will not despise this place I’m at – it took seven years just to get here. Hopefully, it won’t take another seven to get to the next level.

    Thank You, Holy Spirit, for anointing Pam’s words today!

    • Yes, I was thinking that after i finished this and read what you just posted…along with some other blogs that I went to after that. I love it when the Holy Spirit is speaking a similar word to us all! 🙂 I know it seems like a small beginning, but God can move mightily in your “baby steps” and I know there is blessing ahead! Only He knows what beautiful “music” He will make out of them. Thanks, Diane, for sharing your thoughts on that question! 🙂

  3. Pam, what a pleasure to welcome you to the True Vine Challenge! I was right there with you in this post. My daughter, now 16, has been playing violin since first grade. I’ve heard my share of orchestras tuning up. 🙂

    • Thanks, Cheryl! Yes, I love those orchestras and watching the kids playing with such beauty and love of music. The violin is one of my favorites… sings with heart and touches the soul! My mom played violin but I never got to hear her (the instrument was broken accidentally when we were quite young and there never seemed to be money to spare for fixing it). She always spoke with joy about her days in the orchestra. .

  4. Maggie says:

    I’m glad to know that taking me brought such pleasure to your day! I also had a great time chatting with you on the way there and back. Thanks again for doing that small favor for me – it meant a lot!

    • Hi Maggie!
      I always have fun with you, especially in your music. 🙂 I love music and it was fun to sort of listen in on your lesson, get to see where you study. I enjoyed talking with you too… Sitting there, listening to all those instruments playing around me, I started thinking about writing this. 🙂 I just wished I could have treated you to lunch too. Hope you had a good day after I dropped you back home! I’m sure Maisie was glad to see you back!

  5. sleighs79 says:

    Oh, thank you so much for that Scripture today. I am parenting five children under ten, and boy, do I need the reminder of not despising the small beginnings. 🙂

  6. Suzanne, I’m so glad that verse spoke to you, encouraged you. Actually, even before I wrote this post, as I was praying this morning for the words to use, that verse phrase popped into my head! 🙂 I had to google to find the exact reference, but it came up immediately. I’m not a mom, though I always wanted to be – and I just want to encourage you that you are doing one of the most important and long term rewarding “jobs” any of us can do. In the difficult moments, when kids are sick or things seem crazy overwhelming, I pray that God puts pictures inside you of all the beauty He is bringing through you to your children, and that you feel His arms around you, leading you in every moment. I know from my relationship with my mom and from the mothers and families whose lives I’m part of, there are so many rewards as you see your children growing in the love of the Lord you are showing them, in everyday moments of love given and returned, in fun and ordinary times like the one I wrote here. Hold onto these small beginnings and know they will flourish beyond your dreams, in His love. Thank you for letting me know this touched you! I’ll be by to read more at your site too…

  7. lolitavalle says:

    Oh for all the music around you, Pam.

    I love this one about Maggie and you accompanying her in her practice. I love the picture you painted and the notes that scored what you were reading. Such treasures of time spent with loved ones……. breathing life at a slower pace, not haste, a jewel to add your necklace.

    I was late in coming for I took leave yesterday to do some errands.

    Who can resist hearing those notes and see the colors…… and share your joy, my Pam.

    Then you remind me of small beginnings. We take tentative steps, to a few bolder ones….. then soar. When am I gonna soar?

    • lolitavalle says:

      I too am camping at Zechariah 4. It was my son’s (Philip the pastor) dedication to me written in his hand on my birthday last 18th.

      We are made for the wealth of God’s Kingdom here on earth. We are meant to enjoy them because they are packaged with His death. He died for us to live, He suffered for us to enjoy a life, light and free, He was wounded for us to be healed, He was ridiculed for us to have dignity and so on and so forth.

    • Yes, each of my friend’s kids have been involved with music in one way or another, and being surrounded by that is always so lovely! I think you are soaring in your blog right now… from some baby steps to more and more grace. 🙂 Thanks for your words, Lolita!

  8. Pingback: Breaking Bread in the Grocery Aisle | Writing… Apples of Gold

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