Forty is the old age of youth;
Fifty is the youth of old age.
~ Victor Hugo
Yes, autumn is really the best of seasons:
and I’m not sure that old age isn’t the best part of life.
But of course, like Autumn, it doesn’t last.
~ C.S. Lewis
I think it was at our wedding when Carol’s father referred to her as his song of joy, which is what her name means. Now, after almost 30 years together, song of joy has grown in its meaning for me. Throughout her life she has composed many rich verses for all of us to hear and enjoy.
Most obvious is her piano playing. But she does not simply play the piano. She rarely just matches the written notes with the proper ivories and then plunk them down in some mechanical way. Rather, she reads the notes, hears the tune, and then mixes in some inexplicable magic that then reverberates through her fingers and into the piano. She gives the piano a soul, her soul, and the
music written comes to us through her mysterious touch—she breathes her life
into the music, and we are therefore compelled to sing with all of our hearts
and all of our souls to our great God.
But this scenario describes more than just her piano playing. Read Carol’s blog. Read her weekly thanksgivings. See the attached pictures and photographs. Her writings come to our eyes in signs and symbols, but the objective images she gives us are laden with more of her magic. (It’s like baptism or communion—simple sacramental signals mysteriously moving us deep within.) She casts spells on us without our permission. She forces us to love what she loves. She conjures images of truth, beauty, and goodness we cannot resist. And over and over we are caught up in the joyful song she is singing.
Piano playing and writing can be closets to hide in, small fortresses from which we reveal only what we want others to know about us, hideouts where we protect ourselves from embarrassment, and puff ourselves up for attention. But when once you have met Carol face to face, when you share words audibly with her in her presence, you realize how genuine she really is. There is integrity between her piano, her computer, and her presence. And once again, her magic spell begins to pull you in, and you begin to love what she loves. You start loving authors you’ve never read or heard of before—others who conjur their own magic and manipulate you like Carol does. She draws you into her world with
ease and grace. And you look forward to talking again, soon.
Now, you have not lived with her as I have. At home, she’s a bit different than when she’s out and about. But that’s because she’s at home, letting her hair down, free to relax in the context of her family. But I have a witness—glory to
God—thank-you Jesus. Carol is not selling you anything. She is not using
smoke and mirrors. She’s the same Carol. Her magic is real, her life is
enticing. She is a constant tune, a rhythmic harmony that fills our home with joy. She blesses our daily routine with song.
I’m thankful the Lord has given her 50 years to sing. The music she is composing is becoming a living symphony for us all.