Last night Corbin and I traveled to her first Symphony Orchestra Concert at Colorado State University. The Symphony Orchestra is very impressive, with many graduate performance-artist students participating. Truly breathtaking was the Brahms' Second Symphony, the Elgar's Concerto for Cello (performed brilliantly by soloist Barbara Thiem, world renowned cellist, and Shakira's professor), and piece by American composer Samuel Barber. Shakira expressed her feelings to me in a note before the performance, "Prepare to be amazed...this music moves me to tears, that is how incredible it is."
And amazed I was. And moved to tears...let me share why. As I sat observing the beauty of the group, the pure, lovely sound of the instruments melding together into the perfection intended by the composers, my Shakira still stood out. I watched the gorgeous posture she demonstrates as she wraps her body around her instrument. She is in love! And the peace and tranquility of her facial features as she experiences the piece are a joy to behold. I was taken back...
Back to the fifth and sixth grade, when the passion began. She was a pleasure to watch at the tender ages of 10 and 11! Unknown to Shakira, her tongue moved, outside of her mouth, in time with her bow! Her concentration was so deep. Everyone observing smiled at Shakira, her wonderful new skills, and her tongue! This was when we knew that our daughter was not just a kid wanting to play an instrument, but a true musician in the making. We never reminded her to practice. When returning home from school, she would immediately begin playing, for hours on end. Her skills quickly grew. And our home was filled with "The Crawdad Song" played sometimes at lightning speed.
The love continued into middle school, when many of her fellow orchestra students decided they liked soccer better, or drama, or just boys. Her desire and determination to play her cello only grew. And she played her heart out in the orchestras of two different high schools, and with the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra. She spent countless hours in private lessons, with teachers she loved and ones she just endured. And she continued to practice every day for hours, playing composers like Bach and Vivaldi.
For many years, my home has been filled with my daughter's music. There was a night last year, when Corbin and I were making dinner, that we both just stopped and listened to the magnificent Bach Prelude Shakira was playing. We were basking in the exquisiteness that surrounded us, filled with gratitude for this gift of a child that was ours. Now as she is away, our home is very quiet, and perhaps it is the lack of Shakira and her cello that cause us to feel so lonely. I realize, however, that she is doing EXACTLY what she should be doing and is exactly in the right place.
Last night I marvelled as my fabulous daughter played her heart out. I marvel that she has so amazingly developed this beautiful gift that has been given her. I marvel that she wants to share her love of music as an educator, and is well on her way to doing that. I marvel at the beauty that is Shakira and her cello. I am crazy, crazy, crazy-thankful.