Even on the crappiest of days, this piece of music – Die Moldau (aka. Vltava) by Bedrich Smetana – never fails to lift my spirits. Today is not a crappy day, by the way. In fact, quite the opposite. The sun is shining! Bees are buzzing! And I felt compelled to share this piece that I love so much.
I first encountered it back in primary school, when my music teacher Ms Gillespie played it during class one day, and invited us to close our eyes and let the music take us wherever we wanted to go. I so vividly remember being transported to a small village by a river, with people riding bikes and window boxes full of flowers, and it blew my little mind – this ability of music to make us feel, to completely alter our reality. Perhaps I was a little more attuned to this than usual, being lucky enough to have an amazing musician as my Mum.
Nevertheless, I often think about the randomness of this event, a good 20+ years ago now. Isn’t it amazing that on that particular ordinary day, Ms Gillespie chose to play us that piece of music with no idea that it would stick with me forever, providing me with so much joy and comfort well into my adult life? It’s incredible to contemplate this power we possess, the ability we have to make such an impact in a tiny little moment, often with no knowledge of that impact whatsoever.
I’m so thankful to Ms Gillepsie for sharing Die Moldau with me, and of course to Bedrich Smetana for creating it. To me, it perfectly encapsulates the experience of being alive – the ups and downs, the triumphs and failures, the sadness, the joy, the hope, the possibility.
One piece of music. One small girl. One moment in time. Everything changes, and yet everything stays the same.