I went to a musical last week at the Palace Theatre in London. The stars were all 13- or 14-years-old. For six years I taught at St. Mary Choir School and these kids were in Grade 5 during my last year there. Now they’re in Grade 8, ready to graduate.
What I witnessed was the wonder of The Lion King Junior. As the show opened, a shaman walked onto the stage, dressed in flaming red, adorned with fierce makeup, and holding a walking stick. She sang “The Circle Of Life” with a deeply vibrant voice and amazing stage presence. Fourteen became ageless.
I watched Simba and Mufasa and Zazu and all their friends. I heard “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?”. All with my mouth slightly ajar. How music and soul can reach us.
My best moments of the evening were not about what was happening on the stage. In front of me sat a dad and his young daughter. She found his lap more comfy than her seat. There they sat, with the love between them so obvious. At one point, she reached her arms back and clasped her hands at the back of his neck. Truly lovely.
Before the show, I talked to one of my favourite students from my St. Mary’s days. I’ll call her Holly. She’s in Grade 10 now. Such a glowing spirit from back then … and still. Holly is looking at law as a career. I told her that she speaks so well, and that it would be a good fit for her. Actually, it didn’t matter what we talked about. Our love for each other was in the air.
After the show, another former student, now in Grade 9, hugged me. She’ll be Amanda in this story. When she was in Grade 5, she gave me the DVD Elf as a Christmas present. Such a cool thing to do. Our few minutes of talking were timeless. Caring for each other doesn’t stop just because we’re not in the same setting anymore.
All these wonders make me want to have kids but I guess that’ll have to wait for my next lifetime. For the time being, I’ll revel in the moments.