A few weeks ago, I was leaving the Aeolian Hall in London after a concert when a young woman said hi. I knew Noelle fifteen years ago when she was a Grade 6 kid at the school where I worked with a blind student. I also remember her sister Renee and their friend Hillary. Noelle told me that the three of them have formed a music group called The Pairs, featuring homemade songs and strong vocals. She told me they were part of a concert on March 23 and invited me to come.
My brain went into compute mode. March 23 was smack dab in the middle of a five-day trip to Toronto although nothing was on my schedule for that evening. The commute time was about two hours.
I said yes.
I would drive to London, take in the show, and then drive back to Toronto, no doubt getting in at midnight or later. Some people would see such behaviour as weird but not me. Seize the day, as Robin Williams told us in Dead Poets Society.
I stood at the front, listening to the girls sing. Except they’re 28 now. Young women. Great harmonies, great songs and a lovely caring among them. I smiled and clapped a lot. The Pairs are finding their way in the world and who knows where their musical path will take them.
The concert was a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Noelle talked to the crowd about how important it is that we be good to each other. She spoke of “relentless kindness”, a sweet turn of the phrase I thought. It was clear to me that these three women were becoming full human beings, contributing to the world. And it became even clearer when I heard them sing “Woman”:
Oh I’m woman, hear me roar
Oh I may not fit where I’m supposed to be
But I do what I need to make my heart soar
Oh I’m woman, hear me roar
And I won’t let you make a man outta me
I talked to Hillary, Renee and Noelle after the music. They were all pleased I had come. Me too.
Reconnecting with folks who were once young students is rare for me. Last night was a privilege. Many kids who were in my life have now stretched their wings in ways I’ll never know about. Good for them. I like to think I’ve made a contribution to many 12-year-olds. Actually, I don’t have to think it. I have.
4 thoughts on “Emerging”
Oh! how I am loving to read your wise words. This story of these lovely ladies tugs at my heart! I met them last year quite by accident and now cannot get enough of their loveliness! thanks for sharing your words on your blog! hope to see you soon at another music event 🙂 .
(an avid Aeolian Hall fan)
Thank you, Donna. Noelle, Renée and Hillary are gifts. See you at the Grand on June 3 for the Barra MacNeils or May 27 at the Cuckoo’s Nest for Cassie and Maggie MacDonald. After that … it’s Canada!
I completely agree with you about the lovely ladies three 🙂 On June 3rd, i am attending a show at Bishop Cronyn for the CMA of Ontario awards weekend, but you will definitely see me at the Cuckoo’s nest! last evening was at wolf performance hall for Sunfest Diana Panton….lovely evening! thank you again for sharing your lovely words and thoughts!
You’re welcome, Donna. I’m at a concert in Toronto this afternoon so I’ll be late tonight – around 8:00.