My 12-year-old and I are floating on cloud 9 after a serendipitous gift yesterday. We were given symphony tickets for a 3 p.m. concert yesterday at 1 p.m. and my inclination was NOT to rush around and go, but Autumn kept interrupting and hounding me. Not her usual style. I was in the midst of too many things and unthinkingly said yes – but we had to go home first and re-group.
So, we went. Zipped right downtown to a $1-per-Sunday parking spot and into a beautiful Cincinnati church, St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. We did not realize our tickets got us into the reserved section, yet we managed to scout 2 consecutive seats in the almost-capacity crowd from the balcony. We were across from parents of my college roommate and behind a friend with whom I swim regularly ... all by chance. I’ve since had a facebook message from a college friend saying she saw us.
The mostly Bach concert was astoundingly beautiful. Autumn was so excited to hear the French horns, which she is learning. We lingered after and learned we had been invited to the reception [for what we weren't entirely certain]. So, she and I wound downstairs together to an intimate, friendly gathering. As we were perched with our snacks, a man dropped his coat on the chair next to Autumn and, at recognizing his face, I promptly spilled my plate of food all over the floor. It was the conductor, one of the most renowned in the world: Paavo Jarvi. Autumn said she had never seen me so flustered. I collected myself and asked if she’d like to meet him. She said sure as she recognized him from the program. We approached and said the music had been such a gift and that Autumn was a young French horn player. His face lit up and he encouraged her to practice, practice and she could become as accomplished as the symphony’s principal player, whom we met by circumstance this past summer.
On the ride home, I told Autumn more about who Paavo Jarvi is and she soaked it in, so excited that she treated me to Starbuck’s enroute. When we opened Sunday’s paper, we found his face plastered all over. She’s now making a scrapbook.
I know it wasn’t chance or circumstance or serendipity at work yesterday. On some level Autumn was nudged to go and she listened even when I didn’t. It was a once-in-a-lifetime meeting that will nourish both of us for a long time. And for me came the added element of seeing what it brought her and revel in her excitement as much as my own.
• How many times have I written off something wonderful as mere chance?
• Do I pay attention when I am being nudged?
• When I have listened, what’s the reward been?
• Can I recall that childlike wonder when something BIG happens?
• How am I a child of God?
* It was also a VERY historic concert, celebrating Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk's 50th year in the priesthood and the first time the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has ever played at St. Peter's