I always believed that I could practice the piano anywhere: as a girl, in the middle of my parent’s home, after dinner, quietly, while my dad took a nap ten feet away; in a practice room at my college when, as a young woman, I decided to take it up again; as a new mom in the cement-floored unfinished basement of our home; or on a sleek, black upright in the living room in the midst of our four bustling children. I made it work,learning the music, trying to tune life out around me for a few minutes at a time.
But, then, when I was 62, we moved to a sunny condo on the Cape. With a loft. With my grandmother’s restored baby grand piano. Once again, I began lessons, remotely this time with Melissa, in the middle of March 2020, as the pandemic kept us all home. My work desk, an antique table from my mother-in-law’s historic home, was placed beside the piano. And, as I began to play again, I realized that sometimes, it may indeed matter where you play. As I age, I need that beautiful space to focus better, to practice difficult measures over and over, to appreciate the quiet in the midst of this tumultuous time in our country. I seek out the loft and the piano when my day is stressful, when I find myself a little lost, or need to still the news of the day that’s addled my brain. I turn the soft light on beside the piano, revel in the family pictures on the wall, run my fingers along the silky black and white keys, and feel blessed to have this sacred space. I may have been able to play anywhere, under any conditions, when I was younger and joyful distractions swirled around me in a messy basement or in the middle of our busy home. But these days, whether due to age or circumstance, I need a quieter, serene place to learn and practice the gift of music. How lucky I am to have found it, in a condo, on beautiful Cape Cod.