There is in souls a sympathy with sounds:
And as the mind is pitch’d the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch’d within us, and the heart replies.
The November morn was cool and crisp, and the solitary man playing the bag pipes was standing against the backdrop of changing leaves and flowing water. The mystical sounds of the “pipes” were drifting along on gentle breezes over the whole of a very large park. It was Veterans Day, and the man may have been playing in remembrance of friends or relatives, but it could have been a salutation to the day’s magnificence as well because his harmonies embodied not only touches of the melancholy but also traces of the celebratory. As I watched transfixed and mesmerized by the sounds, he played on at first unaware of my presence behind him. But soon I realized that between the melodies he was slowly turning in a circle and would soon face me and the ones gathering behind me. It was as if he was wanting to address his elegy and/or hymn of praise to all the earth. At each of his turns we who were witnessing the spectacle seemingly became aware that something sacrosanct was moving through us, moving through the “piper”, moving through the pipes, moving through the trees, moving through the water. More than that, one could not help but feel that the sanctity was moving throughout the whole of Creation that was within the sound of his pipes and our vision. I can’t speak for the other observers, but when the “piper” finished “some chord in unison” with what I’d heard and seen had touched me so deeply that my heart replied with tears of sadness for fallen and wounded patriots everywhere and for the joy I’d felt in the beauty of the “piper’s” music.
**I didn’t attempt to take the bag piper’s photo that day because it somehow seemed like an invasion of his privacy. I decided the one above would be equally appropriate for this post since my sister took it on a beach at Normandy where so many fell in WW II while in pursuit of freedom’s calling.
My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. ~Psalm 57:7 ✝