Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Céilidh For One!

There was a fit of music in the farmhouse this morning, a perfect little céilidh for one. I couldn't help myself. It started with the dulcimer, my beauty. The lovely thing carved with leaping harts and vines sat in my lap like a tired cat and instead of petting it I strummed out I'll Fly Away. I played it about 4 times in a row, letting the music stream out of my finger tips and fill the room with the same energy and happiness I feel when you catch dapples of light between autumn leaves. Golden, smooth, energetic and plucky. The song changed my morning mood and made me hungry for more. I grabbed an Irish whistle and played a few tunes I love, Pigtown, and Star O' The County Down, and a prayer tune without a name I made up when I was 17 and still hum to this day. It wasn't long before I ached for a fiddle like hands ache for a lover. I played songs until my arms cramped. It was an hour of nothing but music. Blessed as the day.

I blame all this revelry on this past weekend's workshop. Dulcimer Day Camp was lovely. WIthin an hour of first touching their new instruments we were able to play a simple tune in rounds, all ten of us in sync. More than once I closed my eyes and just listened to the happy sounds. Unlike people learning the fiddle, toying with a dulcimer isn't biting or squeaky. Everything on the instrument is in tune, all of it sounding like someone drunk in a sundress. We learned "I'll Fly Away" that day as well, doing each stanza in tablature and steps. People left with instruments in their hands and a tune in their pocket. I call that a good days work.

That workshop (and this morning's jam session) totally inspired me to make music—even simple quick music—a part of my morning routine. It changes how you stride into the day. It swirls calm and goodness around you. I knew I had a pig pen to clean up and heavy bales to lift around the farm but it was made light work by a lighter heart.

I hope those of you who came to this rainy farm on Saturday enjoyed your dulcimers and the music they made. I hope you are still strumming and well onto more songs. I want you to know how grateful I am you came to this farm and attended the workshop, but even more so I want you to know how great it is getting music back into my daily life. Wherever you are, I urge you to join me in my morning céilidh. It's not coffee, but it's got a thing.

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