Today’s guest post comes from Jacque
Several summers ago, probably 2011, but really I am not certain, someone with a community project grant placed a piano on the corner across the street from my office.
The piano was painted light green with colorful patterns and a small mural. It provided intense community interest and activity, attracting people like a magnet attracts metal. There were players who were accomplished musicians playing a concerto from memory, church organists playing traditional Christian hymns, children playing chopsticks, and cool dudes noodling a bit of ragtime. I could hear music throughout the day. The old piano was tinny and out of tune, suffered relentless sun, and washed by watery downpours if someone did not cover it with the tarp connected to the backside.
It was a difficult summer for me because I had chosen to continue my business despite a major problem and set back the year before. Re-organizing the business required working many hours as I transitioned to a new bookkeeper, a billing service, recruited some new therapists, and developed the structures the business required. Looking out my office window to the corner where the piano was positioned was a blessed relief to this drudgery.
To my delight, there is a new old piano on the corner again this summer.
This noon as I walked back to the office from eating my lunch, a girl was seated there, just noodling. I don’t know who thought of this idea of community pianos, but to whomever it is, thanks. It brings such a feeling of communal joy. When people are gathered around it like a campfire, listening to someone play or singing along, everyone smiles as they throw themselves into the experience. Though I may not know the name of the folks gathered there, we are part of the community in that musical moment.
We are communing.
We are community.
What gives you a sense of community?