I went to choir practice last night. I haven't done that in a very long time. Long ago, before the age of waning energy, elder care, and to-do list overload, I sang in the church choir. I even directed it for a few years. A really long time ago when I was young, I sang with a ceili band and we even made a record. But since the turn of the century, I haven't done much singing, with or without a choir or ceili band. Singing got pushed to the outer reaches of my life, where it has been wasting away for too long.
Folks are so kind - and persistent. They keep asking me to sing with the choir at church, if only for the annual Christmas cantata. They keep asking me to sing a solo for Sunday worship whenever I'd like to. And I would like to, but that same old challenge of making room in a busy schedule for practices has gotten the best of me. Sadly, I've let singing slip away, and it's almost beyond my grasp now. You see, a singing voice is one of those things that, if not used often, will eventually be lost. I haven't lost my voice completely yet, but I have lost some range and control. Only a lot of practice and effort will bring it back.
In the past couple of years, I've been working at getting my voice back. I sing while I'm driving. I sing or hum along with the radio while I paint at the farmhouse. But nothing replaces the exercise and discipline of singing with a choir, with regular practice being one of the best benefits. In addition to the vocal workout, the camaraderie of a choir is good for my soul, nourishing that part of me that longs to belong.
And so, I made time for Christmas cantata practice last evening. The music was a little overwhelming in places, and when the ladies' notes were too high I dropped down to sing with the men. But it felt good to be there, to sing with a group, to be a part of the choir again. It will still be a challenge to get to rehearsals - I probably won't make them all - and I hope no elder care emergencies interfere with the Sunday morning performance. But Christmas is coming and music has always been a gloriously necessary part of the season for me. What sweeter way to celebrate my Saviour's birth than to sing!!