The church was set for Jazz Vespers – something that is not my tradition but a friend’s daughter was to sing this evening. I parked a block away and walked a little as is my way wherever I go. I arrived a bit early and took a good seat in the wooden pews.
My first act could have been prayer but it was to photograph the stunning squares of the three stained glass windows – tiny pieces of predominantly yellow with orange blue, red with yellow, pink and violet, and blue green with all of the colours geometrically offered. Hanging lamps were reminiscent of the Mackintosh Church in Glasgow.
A pillow was offered to me. I refused the comfort. I do not know why – just not my habit, I surmise. I saw the backs of several people I knew. Then she sang – loud, clear, pure and to my great surprise – she was joined by seagulls.
The seagull song lingered, swelled and receded a couple of times. I looked to the windows to see if they were real or piped in by some CD accompaniment. Everyone seemed to take the competing song in stride with no looks of humour or smiles of knowing.
But for me, I was amazed. I was struck with awe. I left quietly, rising inside was a swell of: “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free…”. I know I am cared for. I am free. Even seagulls praise their Maker.
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land… (Song of Solomon)