I love 4.30 on Fridays. Not because I get to go home from the office for the weekend, but because a kind of hush descends. Emails stop (actually some time before 4.30 they slow down from the rate of a racing heart on a monitor, to the slow blip, blip of the heart of someone in a deep resting state,) the phone is silent, and outside the streets grow strangely quiet.
Tonight, after a crazy busy and short week because it had a holiday Monday in it, I had more work than would fit into the time available--and another busy week ahead. So I called home to check in with Paul, and sank into the comfort of the quietness. Then I kept plugging away so that I could go home, if not with all my hoped for tasks done, at least with the prize of one or two things completed.
Just before seven o'clock, as I was packing up to go, I heard organ music from the house above my office. It was beautiful. I stopped to listen. Someone who lives upstairs plays the piano, but surely this couldn't be...I knew that the staff working teaches music--maybe it was her, I thought.
I couldn't leave without going up to find out. And I opened the door to magic. In the corner of the living room, at a keyboard by the window, sat a tiny, wiry man. He wore a baseball cap, from which escaped dark curls. His feet barely reached the floor, and his awkward movements belied the skill with which his fingers plied the keys. He didn't notice me slip into a chair, but the other person in the room put out a warm, soft hand to hold mine, and asked when the next meeting of our anger management group was. And was he still in it, he wanted to know as well.
"Next Friday," I said, "And of course you're still in it!"
I knew the song being played, so I sang the words, "This is the day that the Lord has made, we will be glad and rejoice in it." The man at the keyboard, heard and smiled at me, delighted to have someone sharing the joy of the music.
"What time is the meeting next Friday?" asked my other friend.
"I'm not sure," I said, "I gave you a paper with the times."
"Three!" shouted the keyboard player.
I applauded the end of the song and said I loved the music. As I went down to get my bags to take to the car, an old hymn was being played. I stopped to listen and enjoy for a few more minutes, then reluctantly closed the door behind me.
I had something to deliver to another group home in town on my way home. The evening of this beautiful, warm, sunny day, was more like a lazy summer day than spring and I drove into a maze of subdivision streets with people on lawns with sprinklers going, friends out walking, the town alive with life and living.
The home has an old fashioned front porch and as I approached I saw people on it. The staff laughed and waved with her free hand (the other held a cup of after supper tea) as she saw my car pull up. A log book sat on a cushioned love seat and one of the women who lives in the home sat on a comfortable looking chair. I joined them and sat on the window ledge.
"What're you doing here Belinda?" asked the woman on the chair.
"Oh, just dropping off stuff," I said, and settled in for a few minutes of enjoyment, beneath dappled sunlight filtering through the impossibly green leaves dancing over our heads as we chatted about this and that.
Another person came out and joined us and then another poked his head around the door in welcome.
Sitting on a porch with friends, after an impromptu concert.
What a perfect way to end a work week.