Beta and I went to Galway about ten years ago (it was in October) to see a man about a harp, beginning what we did not know at the time would be a series of travels in the name of music. At the time, bad tin whistle was the limit of my own musical experiences, and I had no plans to change that.
The first trip went well. We bought an Irish harp, we made friends in Dublin, Beta, although only eight at the time managed the following day to guide her massively hungover father through a transfer at Zurich airport where I thought I’d lost my ticket and we got home safe, harp, bodhran, and all.
In the ten years since then we have been to workshops around Austria and to a couple orchestra camps. It was often a thing just the two of us did, and I enjoyed it. Encouraged by her great joy with the harp, I took up cello, with less success but just as much joy. Somehow I even ended up composing music.
This evening we will leave for what I think will be our last orchestra camp (our trajectories are taking us elsewhere, I guess). We will play a concert on Sunday, and then three more in the coming weeks. She will sound beautiful on the harp, I will sit as far back in the cello section as I am able and play some of the songs (more than last year), pantomime others.
Sometimes you only realize later that something you do is for the last time – carrying your kid around on your shoulders, visiting a certain place, giving a big guy the finger in traffic. This weekend, though, I will be aware of it every second, and paying attention.