March 25, 2008
By Jiyoung Kim, Hoffman Estates, IL

Beautiful. How else would someone describe it besides that? Absolutely , undeniably beautiful.

It was late into the night, darkness already swallowed the sky and little specks of light had dotted the inky horizon with its rays. The moon, dull in its glorious rising, shimmered an eerie silver glow, softly illuminating the curves and dips of the hills. And that’s where he sat.

He sat there in the crutch of a plain grassy hill, between the downhill and the uphill.
He was in between darkness and light, high and low, happiness and sorrowful misery.
And he was just what I was looking for.

To this day, I can’t explain what phenomena compelled me to leave the comfort of my house, the empty home, and wander away to him but something did, and that something changed my life.

Venturing out, I found myself enthralled by everything, and in an instant, all I heard was the rustling of the grass, swaying softly to an imagined beat that the wind conducted in, 4/4 time. Legato markings. Playing piano soft.
My heart beat at the same time as the grass flew around, my heart conducted like the wind with its intangible fingers. Feet followed suit and all I could really think about was, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4… The soles of my feet and the muscles straining in my legs continued to drive me somewhere fast, somewhere I didn’t know till I came across a new instrument to add to my orchestra. A voice.

A male voice; and a splendidly soft and clear one at that.

My heart stopped pounding for a second.
Keep holding.

His voice cut through the grass. No where near as harsh as it should’ve been, but rather, like a soft hand cradling the grass within its hold. Like a mother whispering in the night into the ears of her children, this boy sang as soft as the grass did with such a beauty to his voice that it was impossible to deny.

My mind couldn’t comprehend.
A new instrument, a sweet sounding voice to augment this awkward mood I was in, was so… so.. out of reach.

I sat myself at the top of the hill staring down, enraptured by the melody he created, unsure of what to do.

For that one moment in my life, I knew time had stopped. Clocks stopped ticking and the only thing that had any right to move now was this boy and his voice and the air and the grass and this entire scene before me.

His voice slowly drifted away, falling to a silence orchestrated by the wind.
He glanced up. He had seen me.

Like a pied piper he had stolen away my attention into the night.

He nodded.

And with that simple gesture, I remembered. I remembered why I loved music. Why, regardless of the fact that it was hardly my calling, I wanted to pursue it.
…Because it was magical. Because it stole away at people’s heartstrings and meant more than just notes on a page, more than just a simple melody riding on the air of an auditorium.

I stood up, slowly, as to not disturb the peace, and so did the boy. We walked away from each other into opposite directions, probably never to meet again after having shared that experience.
The walk home was not nearly as glorious, but rather, I felt a glow within, not from the moon or the grass or the wind, but from my own heart.

I had found what I was looking for.
I had found myself hiding inside the creaking joints of the hill, scrambling away from what I loved: Music.

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