In the lazy heat of a summer evening, I love to grab my book and head for the coffee shop. An escape from the rush of life is just what I need tonight. I’ll grab a cup of caffeine, and lose myself in the pages. But, sometimes the story isn’t inside the book…
The warm air blows lazily across the patio as the notes of his guitar begin to line up and take their places. Friends puddle around him like rain from a summer shower. With coffee in their hands and smiles on their faces, they cluster, whisper and wave hello. A current of expectation wafts through the air, wrapped in the scent of citronella. After a moment of silence, he offers a welcome, and music slowly begins to flow from the strings of his guitar. Smiling, he starts to sing -- his gift suddenly obvious and amazing.
And I watch. He’s very generous with this small crowd. Welcoming each listener into his magical, musical world, his voice is an invitation. The lyrics are simple, real, and profound. His eyes close, and he moves with the grace of the music. His eyes open again, filled with the enchantment of it all.
Still I watch. Heads are nodding, toes are tapping. The music has a strange affect on people. They move, or sit quietly. They smile, or gaze solemnly into space. It penetrates slowly, and in many of us something shifts.
A young mother steps outside of the coffee shop, a cup in her hand, and a little girl by her side. She hesitates. Bowing her head, she listens, swaying slightly with the haunting melody. A slight frown traces its path across her forehead. This song, these lyrics touch her – a fleeting connection. This is the language of music. Sitting down, she surrenders to its power. The little girl claps her hands, grinning at a stranger. Their evening plans, whatever they might have been, are altered by the urge to stop and listen.
As the music weaves its way into this moment of our lives, we are, each of us, a little changed; grateful for this talented, young man with the guitar and the gift that he shares -- an invitation to sit for a while, in the warm summer night and listen to his story.
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