“That’s what hanging around is really about: finding not only shared interests but the common groove that will bring people together so they can learn from each other and share the stories and experience that lead to meaningful breakthroughs.” (from Yes to the Mess by Frank J. Barreett 103.)
A blessing in my life came early. My parents moved from Kentucky to California when I was 6 months old. They met and became friends with a family that already had 3 children. The family was very musical. Everyone played an instrument and also sang. Whenever we would gather we would eventually bring out the instruments and play and sing. In part this was because of our common love of bluegrass music (the Kentucky connection) but mostly it was because we simply loved to be together and learn from one another. It was during these jam sessions that I learned to harmonize without music. I learned that an autoharp does not just have to lay lifeless on your lap but can be raised up to your shoulder! I learned that just because you play the guitar doesn’t mean you won’t also learn how to play the banjo, and the stand up bass, and the fiddle eventually…just because you are curious. I learned that laughter comes from mistakes and that there are many opportunities to “restart”.
Now I am a mom. I have 3 children of my own and we are still friends with that family. These are pictures of my youngest son between 2 of my friends. He learned how to play his harmonica that night. They played. He listened. They started again, so did he. They coached, he improved. Now he plays at home on his own, listening to his own music and matching pitch and finding rhythm when he can but it isn’t the same as sitting in with Suzanne and Keith. Jamming and hanging out. Moments of grace laced with musicians reaching in love to bring others into their circle. This is how we share the stories of Jesus and find ourselves in his life and teaching. It’s just that simple but it takes time and willingness to be in relationship with others.
Tomorrow….a video of this special moment.