Number 30: Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel, as performed by George Winston
I’ve always been a big fan of George Winston. His piano music has soothed me through the toughest of days and has given me hope and inspiration when I believed none remained. This particular piece is very special to me, as it bridges Thanksgiving with the beginning of the Christmas celebration.
Winston plays the song as softly as he does with profound intensity. The rise and fall in this music captures the ebb and flow of emotions for me during this time, the sweet celebration with family, and the melancholy of memories of those who have left us.
My friend Brad introduced me to Winston’s music when I was in my first year of teaching in the winter of 1987. I spent most of my winter break with him and his family that year, listening over and over to the sounds of December, Autumn, and other Winston works as the sweet smell of his mother’s cooking filled every corner of their home. Now, as I listen again to the familiar melody, I reflect on all that has changed since those days of innocence. Both of my parents have passed on, as has his mom (my second Mom, as she always said), and now his father lay in the hospital recovering from a heart attack.
I have much to be thankful during these ebbs and flows in my life. Our departed have left us with gifts of their own to appreciate our lives with a greater sincerity, to love more fully, to appreciate more genuinely. I would like to think that these days of celebration and contemplation enrich our lives long after our cheers of the new year have fallen silent on the quiet streets of 2010.
May each of you be blessed with good memories and reflections today. I am grateful for all that you have given me, and I will do my best to pass on your kindness and love to others along the way. ❤