For the past two days, I’ve been on vacation with my friend Christine and tons of people from her family. About 45 people to be exact. It’s been a fantastic two days, and while it helps that we were at my favorite amusement park ever, there’s just something special about being around a big, huge family who clearly has tons of love and respect for each other.
The Holmes are a little extra special, too. I always knew Christine was blessed with some awesome musical talent, but apparently it runs in the family. For a couple hours last tonight I sat in awe as everyone took turns passing around a guitar and singing. There was also this super cool little box thing with a fancy name that acted as a drum. I don’t really know what it was but watching different people step up and drum out a perfect beat on it was still pretty impressive.
Over my 16 years of Catholic education, we spent a lot of time in theology class talking about freedom. We learned about how the modern day definition of freedom means being able to do whatever you want, when you want. The Catholic idea of freedom, however, has more to do with having the freedom to choose good over evil and align our lives with God’s plan. It’s a freedom that requires a little bit of discipline, but has the possibility for greater results. Don’t quote me on that exact theology, but there is one example from class that has stuck with me. A new student taking piano lessons who chooses not to practice will never be able to play more than a few simple songs, if that. On the other hand, think of someone who has dutifully studied piano for their whole lives. This person has the ability to sit down and play virtually any tune they could possibly imagine. Clearly, that second person is a lot more free when it comes to being able to play the piano, because of their diligence.
Last night around the campfire I saw this kind of freedom in action. I saw it as one guy was learning how to play a song literally at the same time he was playing it, with the help of another cousin who was yelling out cords. I saw it as the person playing the cool drum thing was able to quickly find the perfect beat everytime the song changed. I saw the beginnings of it as a young kid tried to play the drums, and his dad tapped out the beat on his shoulder to help him keep the right timing. The joy on his face when he realized he was actually keeping up with the song was better than any he could have experienced just from being aloud to bang wildly (even though that’s pretty cathartic sometimes). I heard it as Christine and her sisters were able to harmonize on the spot. Even know, as we’re driving home listening to Disney Pandora Christine is harmonizing like a princess and I’m sounding more like Scuttle the seagull.
Seeing the freedom the Holmes family had after putting in the time and effort to develop their talents has reaffirmed all the aspirations I had in starting this blog. Hopefully, after putting in some serious work on my writing I’ll be able to be a master of my craft as well.
In the meantime, I’ll have plenty of time to crash some more Holmes family vacations.