Canadian Radio gave me a nice reminder the other night. In the car with laptop in tow, one babe left snug in bed and the other left mid-lull with Daddy. Moments of true solace are so few & far between these days with 7 roommates, tourists, and a steady stream of visitors.
So, the solo drive for some coveted "smartphone"service turned into a stop to reflect at the Sherburne Dam while listening to The Road Home -a beautiful program on CKUA. the DJ-host shares music, poetry, and sounds from his home in the country. He is living his dream, and I realize I am living a dream, too.
Not once, as pianist/housekeeper/server/Heidi's employee/Hootenannigan in 2005, 2006, 2008, or 2009 did I ever think I'd be living here with children. I mourned the end of my time as summer pianist and took action to have the position filled by a talented & spirited friend. The splendor of these mountains, the history in the Grand Hotel, the legacy of Mr. Tippet, falling in love here- all etched a permanent print on my life, and ultimately I can't & won't stay away.
So, who am I, here and now? A mother of two who "used to be" someone else? A tired "has been"? Sometimes, I turn a envious green hearing of roommates' fun, late nights & epic hikes. My experience here now is complete with diaper blowouts and tantrums on the trail! (and of course the sweetest smiles & new discoveries...) Like most who have graced this place, I hold so many times here near and dear. Summers of friendships and adventures not to be forgotten.
Beyond the unique vegetation & geology, the unforgettable landscape, scents & tastes, this place has an incredible history of musicians entertaining guests here. James & I are performers in a whole different way these days, our family on "stage" each Sunday, my children an adorable part of so many vacations. Still playing duets & group numbers, trying to hold the Hootenanny together during the transition from Glacier Park, Inc. to Xanterra.
The time to finish a thought on a screen or a paper is fleeting. My desire to document this life in a new way has become my focus, and my creative work focus has become the musical tradition at Many Glacier Hotel. I posted earlier about my desire to create a documentary on the Showplace of the Rockies. While few would deny that it's a great idea, no one will say that it'll be easy.
The affirmation- "shoot for the moon" rings in my ears, and a favorite performance from a past Hoot, with the talented singer/fiddler/mandolin serenader- "Moonriver" swoons me on. My babies have become the most important thing to me, and oftentimes I feel that continuing Music at Many Glacier has been an uphill battle. The notion of the "golden years" is almost annoying to me at times, while I love and treasure the history, I want music as a cornerstone of each Hotel guest's experience. I can't do it all, and I've become better at going with the flow now that I have two.
I'm not returning to Florence to teach this Fall, and it's a strange feeling. No lesson planning, no warmups, no repertoire. I feel a twinge of guilt, leaving the students I care so much about, leaving the program I worked so hard to build. Yet, there was a part of me that wasn't meant to be there anymore, and I have to accept that. I also can accept that the teacher taking over for me is fully competent and will do an amazing job (maybe a twinge of jealousy mixed in there). So. September at Many Glacier.
The impression, the quote I took away from that night with The Road Home: "When the place you choose as home chooses you." I guess that's happened, and I couldn't feel more lucky, challenged, and... home.