I am home again after three nights in the beautiful home of a generous pair of people I did not know living in a tiny village on the edge of land where the St. Lawrence meets Lake Ontario and vice versa. Over the course of three days of waiting, listening, and waiting and listening some more, I observed waves crashing in one direction and then the other and so really have no idea which flows into what and, for now, that’s ok.
Kate and I were attending a piano competition held over those three days with one round a day, none of which eliminated any contender from subsequent performances. I attended as nervous mother, Kate as anxious competitor. The audience was appreciative, nurturing and kind. The piano was beautiful, except perhaps during the first round when the entire lower register began to ring continuously during a Beethoven composition that did not call for said ringing. The weather? The weather was unforgiving.
Did I mention the event was held in a tent? Oh, that. With heat overnight for the piano but none during the day for the pianists. Or audience for that matter. Long periods of sitting in metal folding chairs, feet in dress shoes on lovely lawn, hands alternately clutching a coffee mug and knitting a woolen tea cozy. Then socks. As fast as I could.
Kate did not place in the competition but learned a great deal about performance and self-presentation. One hopes anyway. We both made new friends. I did my best to let her be herself in that space and time, with a little guiding and shielding, and massive amounts of encouragement and worrying. We are home. We are ok. I have done three loads of laundry, drunk four mugs of coffee and nearly finished a second sock.
Keeping it together.