A friend of mine once told me that I have music in my heart. He might be right: music affects me pretty profoundly. When I hear music that I connect with at all, I find it difficult to concentrate on other things — I think I’m one of the only people I know who has a hard time reading and listening to music at the same time. I know I’m not alone in this, but even a piece of a song that means something to me can take me back to a moment or a feeling in an instant.
We went to see Schonbrunn Palace today with my in-laws. It was my fourth time to the palace, and every time I’ve been there I manage to see something new and have another phenomenal experience. (Today was no different.) We arrived at the palace and I enjoyed seeing them goggle at it (they’ve travelled throughout Europe and I think they might have thought we were overselling how grand Schonbrunn is).
Then, walking towards Neptune’s fountain, I heard the faintest strains of the violin — so soft I actually thought I was imagining it at first. But as we continued, we saw a string trio, played by three young women. They were playing Pachelbel’s Canon. I love that piece of music — it’s the song I walked down the aisle to at my wedding, and I listen to it all the time. In that moment, in that grand, fairytale place, it was a moment of magic. Standing there, with my children, on a perfectly beautiful day, listening to this amazing music — it was just one of those moments that feels so perfectly right that you almost don’t want to breathe for fear of spoiling it.
I did breathe, and the moment lasted anyway. We listened to the song, Benjamin clapped, the music changed, Liam dozed. A few minutes later, Benjamin asked to go see the fountain, and I thought the spell would be broken, but it wasn’t: we went and sat on the edge of the fountain and looked at the ducks and he told me about the shapes he saw in the clouds.
I am so grateful to have had this afternoon, exactly as it was. These moments, when I find them, make me feel like being here is the right choice.