I was meeting one of my good buddies early one morning this week at a coffee shop to catch up on life and sharpen iron before the days activities began. The alarm woke me up a little before 6AM and as I rolled out of bed I heard the rain hitting the roof. When rain hits Atlanta you might as well double your commute time… never fails. I hurried my morning routine, pulled out of the neighborhood and headed to the interestate. Not a mile down interstate 400 did I see the sea of red across all 6 lanes as commuters begain tapping their brakes. Frustration settled in a little but I turned on some music to help pass the time.
Breakfast was at one of my favorite spots in the Perimeter area, a French-style restaurant called La Madeleine. I’ve been going here for close to 12 years. A mentor of mine invited me there for the first time in my final semester of college as I was looking for my first job. Before 7:30 in the morning it is filled with the movers and shakers of the business world. As I left the restaurant I was surprised to hear a piano being played and looked next to the front doors. There was a young girl wearing headphones and was completely lost in the music as her fingers danced over the keys. Unbeknownst to me, there was a piano donated to the restaurant and sat outside for anyone’s use. I chuckled at how long that must have been sitting there without me knowing.
I got in my car and rolled down the windows so I could hear her play – it was beautiful. I wished I hadn’t had to jet for another meeting. It would’ve been nice to sit there and listen to her a little longer while the rain came down on my windshield. As I drove away I started thinking about her playing that piano in the middle of the rain and was really encouraged. It was 8AM on a Tuesday morning. Wet, rainy, drab, and grey. Most of us (myself included) can begin to look at the day through a negative lens when the weather is unfavorable. Not for this girl. She was lighting up that parking lot with music and probably touching a lot of lives. I have no idea who she was but I’m grateful she was playing that piano.
It reminded me to create beauty even when situations and circumstances are unfavorable. It doesn’t take much most of the time… just a little creativity and having the right positive mental attitude. I don’t know what season you find yourself in as we head into the holidays but maybe we can all take a little lesson from this girl. Go play in the rain and inspire beauty and joy despite what might be going on around you. It’s silly, now that I think about it. That piano may have been there for years and I’ve walked right past it. I can’t play a lick but now that I know it’s there, I might have to go play a few keys the next time I go to breakfast. Is there a “piano” you need to play over the holidays? Don’t forget to play in the rain. And the great thing is, the sun always comes back out again.