As you may remember, I am serving as the “interim organist” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and those of you who know the parish, may know that the choir and organ loft is accessible only by an outside stairway. It means that when we go to communion during the service, we have to brave the elements as we descend the stairway and then go outside around to the front door. When I first came to St. Mark’s a few months ago, I wondered to myself, “What happens when it rains?”
Well, yesterday I didn’t have to wonder anymore. Hurricane Ana brought over 11 inches of rain to Oahu and it rained all night and all day.
When I was a junior in college I learned a very important lesson: Never get your organ shoes wet! That is because getting the soles wet prevents you from sliding on the pedals, in fact, it makes you stick to the pedals, and you won’t be able to play legato. I learned this lesson the hard way when I went to play an audition for a scholarship and I foolishly walked outside briefly in my organ shoes when it was lightly raining. (However, I still was able to win the scholarship, so I guess it didn’t affect my playing THAT much!) But the feeling that one’s wet shoes can prevent you from playing normally has put the fear and terror in me for life!
So I dutifully changed back into my street shoes before going to communion, but I decided to NOT take my umbrella, but I certainly considered doing so.
It reminded me of my childhood home in Burbank, CA when our house was actually two separate structures: the kitchen, living room and den were in one building, and the bedrooms were in another separate building, about forty feet away. That was before my parents joined the two buildings with a patio cover sometime after we moved in. When it rained, I remember my father holding an umbrella and carrying me and my two sisters to “the other house” when it was bedtime!
Taking an umbrella to go to bed or to communion?! You’ve got to admit it’s a novel concept!