At the last minute, my husband decided to go with me to the concert, so I got to knit rather than drive. Would I otherwise have spent the night on an off-ramp gathering courage to drive home? We will never know.
I knitted Hopkins, of course, and so had the lovely serendipitous coincidence of having Hopkins with me when the choir sang the very poem — “Pied Beauty” — that Hopkins is named for. It was a setting by Gwynneth Walker, who is my new favorite current composer. If you click on her name, you can hear some of the pieces the choir sang last night. Her “Motherless Child” was my husband’s favorite. And they sang a piece of Emily Dickenson’s as well, and not to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” either. It was nice to hear some modern things in among the classics.
Of course, the high point was getting to see and hear #2 daughter. We came home to a modest assortment of well-mannered teenagers, and I got up this morning and had Palm Sunday at my usual collection of churches.
Hopkins got named for Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote “Pied Beauty,” because it is made of heathery and variegated yarn. I hope you will read the poem, because it is a lovely poem, and just the thing for a spring day. Is it spring where you live? Here, the dogwoods are blooming, daffodils and violets are blooming, the air is warm, and everyone is happy. This is also partly because it is spring break. As a university town, we are all able to enjoy the sense of freedom and relaxation that goes with spring break, even those of us who still go to work. My boys will be home, making messes and eating everything in sight, #2 daughter will be here on Wednesday, and so many people are out of town that there is a sort of general feeling that we who are left shouldn’t make too much of an effort.
It is also Holy Week, which matters to you a lot or not at all, depending on your particular spiritual path. For church musicians, this is a mad week, even more so than Christmas ever can be, because it is compressed. We have Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Tennebrae, and then Easter. I have already done my solo for the week, though, so I am just one of the kids on the bus from now on.
I’m off to sit on the porch and enjoy the day.