A few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, I was about to hop into the shower. It was still warm enough that I had our bedroom window cracked.

My ears perked up at the sound of… was that, music? The marching band?

We live near the high school from which my husband and I, and both of our daughters, graduated. So while I couldn’t begin to recite the words to the high school anthem, I can hum it. And that was definitely what I was hearing.

But… we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Band events, as far as I knew, were cancelled. We’ve grown used to, well, NOT hearing the sounds of the football game or high school band echoing from the stadium to our house.

I still had on my robe (pink and white striped!), so I ran to the door, stuck on my gardening shoes at the last second, and ran out to our front lawn. Don’t worry–I didn’t scare any neighbors. Family groups, people young and old, were already out, some on their front porches, and some apparently having received the memo… the band would be making a trip around the circumference of our leafy neighborhood.

I videotaped a bit of it (crank the volume on your computer, and click on ‘marching band’ next to the photo at the bottom of the post), and watched the rest from our front yard.

(I admit it–I wasn’t willing to wander the streets in just my pink and white bathrobe!)

When the last marcher disappeared from view, I went back inside our house, sat on our couch, and tried to fight off tears. I’ve been putting a lot of emotions in a box in my mind in 2020.Maybe I’ve been afraid that if I start crying, I won’t be able to stop.

Well, I didn’t succeed.

Seeing the marching band brought up a lot of thoughts. About how our older daughter had played in that band, back in her high school days. How almost exactly a year before, she’d shipped out for her military assignment. How it’s been a year since we’ve seen her in person. How it’s likely to be a year before we’ll see her in person again.

How touching it is to observe how eager humans are for live performance–neighbors who don’t have kids in band or high school any more. Like the man across the street whose son played football. Like me, even in a pink and white bathrobe and dusty gardening shoes.

How sad I am for what the kids in the current marching band are missing out on because of the pandemic. How even more sad I am for friends and acquaintances who have lost close loved ones to death due to Covid-19: several have lost parents, two have lost children.

How grateful I am for all the humans who pooled their ingenuity and creativity and brains to create Zoom, email, Skype, Facetime–tech tools that make it easier to communicate with our daughter. How touched I am at the inventive ways humans find to–in difficult, straining circumstances–come together in community. Sharing music. Sharing live performance. Sharing community.

Yes, sharing community. We’re better, as humans, when we can come together in positive ways in community.

And I hope, and pray, that we keep finding ways to uplift one another.

Stay well,

 

 

Marching Band