This I Believe

Shirley - Oakton, Virginia
Entered on April 10, 2007

This I believe: Listen to and trust the voice within.


I believe that the voice within is true. Trust and follow where it leads: to opportunity and beauty.

The power of that voice was reaffirmed when I read an e-mail note that said, “Little Conn Organ Free to a Good Home.” I phoned the owner, a woman named Grace. She wasn’t moving away. She had a simpler reason for letting go. Her late husband, Carl, was the only one who played the organ — a spinet they bought 40 years before. The organ deserved another music maker.

The truth is, I didn’t know how to play the organ. But I do play piano and knew I was ready to learn. Something beautiful was ahead.

I appealed to my husband, John. Our parlor was already a music room. That’s where we keep the baby grand piano and the old upright piano from our last house. We could open our home to different songs! He agreed that we should go look and listen.

We paid a visit to Grace and Dorothy, her daughter. With the organ switched on, we heard strings, reeds, and percussion.

Try it, they said. So I sat down and played an oberek — a Polish dance. Then came my favorite piece, “Linus and Lucy”: dah-dah-DAH DAH-dah-dah DAH-dah dah-dah-DAH-DAH. My fingers sank softly on the keys and my hands worked two keyboard levels. Yes, the organ was mine.

What could I do in return for that gift? “Play and enjoy it,” Grace said.

Two weeks later, we went to get the organ. Grace and Dorothy also gave us a bench, small lamp, and two cartons of sheet music. There were dance tunes, sing-alongs, hit songs, and hymns. A great collection! Dorothy said she had looked and couldn’t find one item. She asked us to return a song sheet if we found it: “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

We set everything in a truck and drove home. I felt awed that a family was so generous — giving away a possession that brought them great enjoyment. The voice within assured me that Carl would approve as I found my way with the instrument, playing the music he loved.

Before bedtime, I picked up his military hymnal and played “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.” With that melody, the organ blessed our home.

Days later, I opened a music book, and there it was, a picture of a sweet-faced child and the score ? “Daddy’s Little Girl.” I sent copies of the pages to Grace and Dorothy.

“You’re the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright. You were touched by holy and beautiful light.”

Trust that voice within. I believe it has perfect pitch.