And the Heavens opened up and smiled down upon me that day, and I was one with the universe.
Things were about to change for me. I was a recent graduate. I had moved out of my (host) parents house (only to move back into my ((host)) parents house) to seek new adventure and new meaning. I was deemed ready and fit to serve after a successful training.
There I sat outside of the House of Youth. Bright eyed children, bemused by my presence, began to gradually approach, trickling in like the non-existent rain of the desert. But they were really there. Rather, they gathered around like desert dust on my brand new sneakers. But they weren’t unwanted. Maybe they drifted in like a cool breeze on a hot April day. That might not resonate with some readers, but bear with me, it actually exists. At any rate, after their (pleasant) arrival, broken conversation ensued.
And but what to my wandering ears did resound, but one little word and imagination go round!
I was already well informed that I would be taking over an established music program. Music can mean many things, but despite insecurities, worry, and anxiety, I was overall quite excited and thrilled about the opportunity presented to me. So music was in the bag. In the bag inasmuch as classes could happen at my House of Youth. So that was great. After all, I did bring a clarinet that I might eventually lay to rest out here after the heat and sand tears the wood apart. But also, maybe not. The pieces fit together like the precise measurement of dry tea in my palm.
So, as you could imagine, the moment the (French) word basket struck my eardrum (loose musical reference there to relate back to my previously stated future participation in music classes), I was more or less elated. If my marriage had a mistress, she would certainly be music. But if I had a mistress with music, she would certainly be the curvaceous basket with soft and supple skin. This might be the appropriate time to untangle the confusing French translation into the English version: basketball. On that ordinary April evening, the youth professed their love for a game, that I too loved, and their need for a coach. And if I know anything about coaching…
I would say that I fit into my new hometown like my 15-foot jumper fits into the basket. Or that my new desert hometown fills my soul like a whole note fills a measure. Complimentary pieces like John Stockton and Karl Malone. The sweet duet of Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck taking five. Safi.
Some have claimed that my heart grew three-times in size that day while others attest they saw tears. I choose to believe that the once cool breeze turned into a small-scale sand storm that kicked up dust in such a manner that it caused some irritation in my eyes and, perhaps, complicated my respiratory system so that I had to take deep and deliberate breaths. I suppose we will never know. For that day exists somewhere in the fantastical past and we will never be able to capture her magic (third mistress?) simply because we don’t have the technology to unlock such a mystery.
Some call it luck, but out here, it just may have been God’s will.