When I was a little girl, my mother read me a beautiful poem titled “The Touch of The Master’s Hand.” Her point in reading the poem was to teach me that everything has value regardless of it’s appearance. One morning as I slowly awakened, I recalled having the most beautiful dream and once fully alert, I realized I’d dreamed about the a fore mentioned poem.
I don’t know about you, but I believe all things happen for a reason and many times our dreams carry a message. As I contemplated the dreams meaning, the thought occurred to me to share the dream in a short story. Perhaps it just may bless someone. That being said, my dream:
“I’d love for your son to have this,” the old man said as he offered the violin to his student’s mother.
Ms. Emily Brown regarded Mr. Joe as he was affectionately called. Her eyes carefully surveyed the instrument now worn and tattered by years of use. The body of the violin was nicked in various places. The color was faded as well and the chin rest was covered by a frayed and well-worn piece of moleskin. The strings of the bow were no longer a warm ivory but a yellow.
“No, thank you, Mr. Joe. I’m saving to buy my son a new violin,” Emily replied as gently as she could.
Mr. Joe had been good to her and her son, Jeremy. He charged them far less than other teachers in the area and he allowed Jeremy to come to his home straight from school three days a week. After his lesson, Mr. Joe shared his dinner with her young man and watched over him until she got there to pick him up. On those nights, Jeremy’s homework was always completed and she’d find the two of them watching an old cowboy movie.
“Are you sure, it could save you some money?” This time Mr. Joe smiled, and when he did little lines formed around his eyes and lips giving his face a warm glow.
Mr. Joe continued to smile. “I understand,” he said. “Well then, why don’t you take your Jeremy to hear the Philharmonic this weekend. I have a pair of tickets and I won’t be needing them.” He extended an envelope.
Emily frowned and then shook her head. “Oh no, I couldn’t take those from you-”
“Yes, you can and you will,” he cut her off. “Besides, I’ve already told Jeremy he’s going.”
“Hurry up mom, we’re going to be late!” Jeremy called to his mother.
“I’m coming right now.” Emily gave herself another look in the mirror. She wore her best black dress and heels – styled her hair and applied makeup to her face. She knew the type of persons who attended classical functions and could only hope she and Jeremy would fit in.
As they sat in their seats waiting for the performance to start, Emily looked around. She wondered why Mr. Joe had given away such expensive tickets. As it turned out, she and Jeremy had a pair of the best seats in the house. Suddenly the chatter began to quiet as the lights dimmed and the conductor took his place in front of the orchestra. He raised his baton and with what seemed like one stroke, the most beautiful music filled the air.
A short while into the piece, the sound of a violin rose above the other instruments. When the spotlight focused on the soloist, Jeremy sat forward and exclaimed, “Mom! Look! It’s Mr. Joe!”
Emily sat in awe as the sound of the stringed instrument serenaded her and the rest of the audience. The light reflecting off Mr. Joe’s violin caused the wood to gleam but it paled in comparison to the smile on her son’s face. When she searched the program for Mr. Joe’s name, he was not only the featured soloist for the night but his biography listed him as a Master Violinist.
As the audience began to file out into the lobby once the concert ended, Jeremy turned to his mother. “May we go back stage and see Mr. Joe? Please?
“Oh sweetie, we don’t have backstage passes beside, Mr. Joe would be gone by the time we got there.” As soon as the words left her mouth, an usher appeared and called her by name. He’d come to take them to Mr. Joe.
Mr. Joe introduced them to everyone, including the conductor for the evening. The pride at showing Jeremy off was evident on Mr. Joe’s face. When he pulled the violin he’d used for the performance from it’s case at Jeremy’s request, Emily was surprised to see it was the same one Mr. Joe had attempted to give her.
The wood was polished to a glow and it smelled of the oil used to clean it. The bow once lose and yellowed now appeared taunt and bright. “What did you do to it?” Emily started. “I thought that violin was too old and banged up for my son when you offered it to me, but tonight it sounded angelic and it seems brand new. And you, I had no idea you were a Master Violinist. ”
“My dear Emily. Things are not always as they appear. You probably figured, I was just an old man who’d taken an interest in your son – and I have.” He then held up his instrument. “And you thought this violin with it’s aged appearance couldn’t possibly have much use left to it. How could something as old as this violin be of value?”
“Let me show you something.” Mr. Joe took a seat and gestured for Jeremy and Emily to do the same. Once he had their attention, Mr. Joe explained the history of the instrument. It was hand crafted by a famous Italian violin maker and was valued at a great price. He held it so they could see the maker’s seal. “I want you and your son to have this,” he said.
“Mr. Brown, I couldn’t possibly take that.”
“Emily, you can and you will, besides, I’ve already told Jeremy it was his.”
The moral to my story is quite clear. Often times we misjudge people as washed up when they should be venerated. We mistake a valuable antique as a worthless piece of trash when it should be appreciated. The next time the opportunity presents itself in life to delve a little deeper, do so, remembering things are not always as they appear.
By Savannah Jackson, she adds a little sass in every page.