Monday, June 27, 2016

Week-End Self Care--with Ukuleles

When I locked my office door on Friday, I said to my dean, "What a week--I'm glad it's over."  I don't often feel that way about any given week--happily most weeks are not like last week.

I knew I needed some self-care over the week-end, so I did what has worked well in the past:  writing, especially some journaling, baking, getting some vigorous exercise, and some extra sleep.  And I did what I don't always do:  ukulele lessons followed by singing.

Now, I was going to do the ukulele lessons before I knew I would need self-care.  We've had increasing numbers of our church members interested in the ukulele, and rather than give individual lessons to everyone who wondered if this instrument might be for them, my church came up with this fellowship opportunity:  For five weeks, we will meet at 6:00 at the parsonage.  We will have 45 minutes of ukulele lessons, followed by a food break, followed by a jam session that include any instruments that people want to bring along.

The first week, June 19, we worked to learn 2 chords, C and F--and then we could strum and sing "This Little Light of Mine."

Last night, we added some additional chords, D7 and G7--suddenly a whole world of songs opens up. 

Most of the songs had 4 verses, and we sang them all.  On the first verse, I could hardly follow along at all.  But by verse 4, I had almost gotten all the chord changes, and I wished we could keep going so I could do the chord changes more smoothly.

It sounded much better in the last half of the evening, when we had the jam session.  One woman played her upright bass, my spouse played his violin, and one member played his guitar--we had a better sense of the melody and how the ukulele chords worked with it.

When we got home, I marveled at the fact that we sang old hymns, which wouldn't be my favorite if they showed up in a worship service.  But as part of a jam session, those songs made me so happy.

Let me remember this happiness as I move through the week, reassembling the wreckage of last week.  Let me hum the old gospel hymns as I do what must be done.

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