Sitting on the porch, drinking coffee, watching the day go by, the dull sounds of an electric guitar playing the intro to 7 Nation Army. Thinking to myself, “How cool, someone got a bass guitar for Christmas.”
Then random notes played on higher strings, “Oh cool, someone got an electric guitar for Christmas.”
Noting the sound is coming from the house across the street, garage door open, kids riding bikes, one lone boy sitting in the garage with his guitar.
First instinct is to go over and help him, second instinct is to go inside and practice and mind my own business.
Later, Sofia comes in and tells me that one of the neighbors told the little guitar boy that I teach, he is now riding his bike back and forth in front of my house, waiting to catch me, to ask about lessons.
I go outside, he wanders over with excitement. “Hi, I just got a guitar, I heard you teach, I can pay!”
I grab my mask; together we go to his garage, his new electric guitar, a little amp. He sits down and shows me what he’s learned on YouTube.
“Try this,” I suggest, he does, he’s alert, excited, awake.
I play for him, his eyes get wide, “You’re good!” he says, to which I reply, “I practice a lot.”
His little brother and sister run about, “Don’t touch anything they touch, they touch everything.” He warns me, I think, “COVID.”
His aunt comes out, says she plays, takes his guitar. She doesn’t, but I sit and listen with intention.
“Can you play Dust In The Wind?” she asks, so I do. She starts crying, telling me it was her late brother’s favorite song.
The mood shifts to her feelings, “the power of music,” I think to myself.
“How much?” he asks, “I can pay.”
Tough question, they obviously don’t have much.
“Well, why don’t you ask your mom if you can take lessons and then we’ll talk.”
He looks me intently in the eyes, “But how much? I can pay”
I go back in time to when I first took lessons, the snow shoveling, the raking of leaves to pay for them.
“How about $5.00 and you rake my leaves?” He gets excited and says he will ask his mom and get back to me.
Back home, he rides over once again asking. “Would you teach me that song that made my Aunt cry? I’d like to learn it for her.”
“Yes,” I reply, marveling at the heart of my 12-year-old neighbor boy.