"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain


>> Monday, March 19, 2012

My bare feet slapped the pavement as we strolled through the rain. Spirits were high as we laughed and joked, approaching the pan yard. A warm glow emanated from beneath the roof of the yard, and we could see steel pans littering the arena, empty oil tubs lining the walls. The men were tuning pans, loosening up their arms, legs, and ears before practice. We shuffled in, not at all sure of what to expect. The men gave us warm smiles as they took their positions at the pans. Not a word was spoken. Then, with a gesture from the conductor, the symphony began. I cannot recall what song they first played, but I so vividly remember the joy that struck me. My face lifted, and the tired ache from hiking the previous day floated away from me. The loud, overpowering flood of notes commanded my body: dance. The evening grew to night, and the stars grew brighter, so they played on, smiling and laughing between songs. Band members came and went, and my classmates stepped in to participate here and there. As our time to leave approached, they handed over the drum sticks to us, and so patiently showed us each note, each rhythm, each pan. And so we played, laughter rose with the chaotic melody that protruded. As we left, we thanked them each for their time and patience, and continued on our way, steal pan rhythm still echoing in our chests.

Iyla, Brattleboro, Vermont


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