Sunday, December 6, 2015

Memories bring joy

Joyce Sasse
Joyce Sasse

The gift given has come back to me one hundred-fold.

Several years ago, when I heard the Nutcracker was being performed in our nearby city, I picked up tickets for three of my young friends and their moms.

None had ever seen live theatre and never imagined themselves to be patrons of the arts.

I invited the 5 and 6 year olds to my home one afternoon and played for them a filmstrip of the ballet. We spent the full afternoon learning the story, listening to the music, and dancing around the living room.

On the designated day the excitement grew. First, we would have lunch in a City Restaurant, then go off to the University for the matinee. This was a day of unfolding wonder that was picked up on by the theater ushers. They decided to sit us in a cluster, three behind the other, so we could talk together.

It was amazing to hear the children tell the adults what the story was about even before the stage-lights dimmed. And they hummed bits of music recalled from three-weeks previous.

For me the magic came with sitting in the midst of that cluster of theatre-goers as they were transported into that special world of costume, ballet, story, drama, and musical spectacle.

Those “children” have become young adults now. They are finishing their post-high school studies and are planning their weddings. Only occasionally do I meet one of them. But every Christmas, whether Nutcracker music accompanies an advertisement or heralds a full showing on TV, the music transports me back to our lovely day together.

It was I who gave the gift in the first place, but from the very moment we began our adventure until now that gift has brought tears to my eyes and kept the spark of delight alive in my heart.

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