by John Ireland, and performed by John Lenehan
Music, to us, is not only the food of love, music IS love. Music is an embodiment of love, between the person who plays, and the people who listen.
A few short weeks ago, when things seemed very, very gloomy for me, indeed, I packed up my little family in full-on "emergency mode", and headed home to my parent's house in Stratford. For there is nowhere on earth that carries the feeling of such calming reassurance for me, as the place where I grew up.
After a long drive, we arrived in the dark, with two out of three little girlies fast asleep in the back seat of the car. My mother gently led the two eldest upstairs, while I carried the comatose form of Wee Three. After changing them into their pyjamas, we tucked them into their beds-- the youngest ones curled up together, side-by-side, like two little kittens in a basket.
Downstairs once more, I poured my heart out to my parents, who sat at the kitchen table and listened. Once I had exhausted myself of frustrated monologue, my mother quietly got up and walked into the living room, where her beautiful baby grand piano stands in front of a picture window.
She sat down to play. She played this piece: a piece I hadn't heard since the very early days of my childhood. As her fingers gently brushed the keys, the melody filled the rooms of our house, and I felt some of the tension I had been carrying slowly begin to ebb away.
And I realized that she played because she and my father have no words for me at this difficult time. I have my own decisions to make, my own path that must be followed. But instead of sitting in silence, or trying to fill up the void with "small talk", playing this beautiful, soothing music was my mother's way of conveying how much she and my father will always love and support me.
"If music be the food of love, play on. Give me an excess of it..."
--William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"