I don’t remember if I even knew what a cello was before college. I know I never touched one in person! But in college, I fell in love with the deep, mellow sound of the thing. There is so much beautiful music for the cello, but I especially loved the slower, sweeter pieces. Maybe this music charmed me because I could hum along with it, feeling the vibrations and the yearning of the song in my chest. The dream was born – someday I would love to play that instrument.
I kept someday at bay for over 30 years. I occasionally mentioned the dream to friends, but I never seriously consider doing something about it. I think I was just afraid of failure. Piano had not been easy, and I’d heard that strings were the hardest instruments to play. I never had the nerve to even find someone with a cello and see what it felt like. It was safer to imagine playing than to risk the disappointment of finding it too difficult.
I didn’t even buy many recordings of cello music. Now and then, I’d get a CD of someone or other and discover a beautful cello part in back of a song or two. And the dream would stir, get up on one elbow, then roll over and go back to sleep.
But middle age has a way of changing a person. In the last ten years, I’ve processed a lot of old fears and discovered a lot of new freedom and joy. I guess it was inevitable that this dream would poke it’s head up again above the receding waters and get my attention once again.
I started to think about the possibility again. I even borrowed a cello teaching video from the library and watched a little on YouTube. I learned a little more about the instrument and how it works, so I wouldn’t feel so dumb if I actually encountered one somewhere. The dream was gaining strength with the passing months.