"It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all.”
L. Ingalls Wilder
Imagine my surprise when after passing by a billboard announcing the upcoming Cirque du Symphonie my father said, let's go! In fact, I noted the surprise then kind of forgot about it. Last Friday while Dad was reading the newspaper he saw the ad again. Let's go, he said. I tried to buy tickets on line which proved to be a process that, in my opinion, needs to be perfected some! Instead we hopped into the car (well, we didn't actually hop because both Dad and I are way past the hopping stage of our lives, but we moved quickly!) drove down to the Symphony Hall and bought tickets for that evening's performance. I found out later that Dad was expecting the full Cirque du Soleil experience which is maybe why he was so eager to attend.
This was our first such outing in a long time. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's been years since he's agreed to do anything out of the ordinary. I was both excited and proud of him.
We got to the show early because we didn't know what to expect in the way of traffic, parking places, and settling in. I haven't been to the symphony in quite some time. It was almost as much fun for me to stand in the lobby and watch the people mingle around. There were many styles of dress, from extra fancy to not so fancy. Both Sweetie and I had trouble keeping our eyes off the young girl who was wearing a dress that resembled a poofed out drapery valence paired up with fishnet stocking and Converse tennis shoes. To add interest her partner for the evening was dressed in a full length, blue satin evening gown. I have to wonder if they compared notes before hand about what they were going to wear. Regardless, they seemed to be enjoying themselves and that's what counts.
Dad has learned how to maneuver his motorized wheelchair around the house pretty well. He still bumps into walls, and runs into things that get in his way, including the dog who can't move any very fast, but he's getting the hang of it. It was going to be interesting to watch him parallel park the rig at the end of the row of seats. Getting in went fairly smoothly. Getting out, was a little more problematic. Let's just say the kid in front of him was very nice about the jolts to his seat.
When the lights went down and the music began I was lost in an enchanted world. I guess when you go to the symphony you should be able to close your eyes and hear the music. I wanted to see everything that was going on - the bows glide across the strings, the fingers move up and down the oboe, the percussion guy move from instrument to instrument, the trombones slide. An orchestra is a lot like vegetable soup, isn't it? Before the performance begins you hear the different instruments tuning up, making their individual sounds. Once the conductor arrives on stage, taps his baton and brings the whole group together, the flavors blend into a kind of magic elixir. And then the juggler came out and Bam! kicked the show up a notch!
I glanced over at Dad to see how he was enjoying it and I could tell something was wrong. Instead of looking at the stage his head was hanging down and his hands were clasped tightly together. I saw him begin to look at his watch - never a good sign during the first 15 minutes of a show. He leaned over and asked for a pain pill. I didn't have any. This was going to be a long show. But he told me not to worry and to enjoy the show. Sweetie pointed out there was no way he could get the car out of the parking lot because it was crammed full. The music played on.
I have to give Dad the staying power award. He made a visit to the bathroom during intermission but came right back for the second half of the show. A show, I must say was pretty amazing. The acrobats performed the kind gymnastic movements that made the audience gasp. I'm still wondering, two days later, how they did it. My almost forgotten longing to be a flying lady (see Life is Good post) burned anew as I watched the performers. I've got some practicing to do but I've already impressed my dear husband with my ability to do a ribbon dance.
As miracles go the transformation of my father's mood and his willingness to go along and get along might not rank up there with the parting of the Red Sea, but it's still pretty darn big. In gratitude I accept this gift.
Wishing for you good music accompanied by $6 glass of Chardonnay,