The Little Girl

On Saturday I saw a little girl sitting perky on a chair in front of a downtown framing store. She had a music stand in front of her and was playing a flute. Beside her, propped on the sidewalk, was a whiteboard. On the whiteboard, in childlike, bluemarker penmanship was written, “you are welcome to listen to the music.”

It was obvious she was just learning how to play.

But she didn’t care how she sounded.

She was sitting straight. Facing out towards the pedestrians on the sidewalk and the drivers on the street. The sun was shining. The weather was warm. Windows were open for all the world to hear.

And she played.

Fumblingly confidant.

With short blonde hair and wire rimmed glasses sitting on her nose. Pink pants tucked into socks.

A little musician who was proud of what she’d already accomplished, even if it was only the repetition and rearranging of four notes. Wanting to share her accomplishment to the world.

And I was envious of her bravery.

At ten years old, showing more confidence in herself than most grown-ups I know.

Including myself sometimes.

Does this confidence come from innocence? And if so, how does one get this innocence back free from adult cynicism.

I have a flute. It’s been sitting in its case since I quit the school band in grade seven. Maybe one day I’ll dust it off and on a particularly warm Saturday afternoon I’ll sit out on my balcony (that over looks a substantially busy street) and play the four notes I remember.

And be as brave as that little girl.

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