It started as an impulse, one that almost didn't even come to fruition because self-doubt kept creeping in. I was wary of the world, wondering how this venture would be received. And so I started by going to local parks when they weren't too crowded, and I tried to be as discreet as possible (P.S. It's not possible with a harp). I kept to myself, strumming along. But over time, I realized that human connection is the best part of all this.
It's all about those moments in time. Sitting on top of mountains with no sound but the music and the wind, everyone silent as they bask in the multisensory beauty that surrounds them. People using the music to take a few breaths in stillness. The extra little push that the harp gives to keep them going on a challenging part of the trail. It's the children who get a unique surprise on their field trip and end up learning about a rare and ancient instrument. Maybe I inspired one of them to play the harp, who knows?
It's the realization that as the world crumbles around me, The Hiking Harpist still stands strong. We're lacking so much in the realm of normalcy lately, but we have the outdoors, and we have music. The Hiking Harpist is my portal into the depths of serenity that can only be achieved by integrating music and nature, and right now, we need all the serenity we can get.
This 1-year mark is certainly not how I expected it to look, but I'm grateful. I've been able to get back to the local trails, but this time I'm not hiding. I'm making sure that people hear the music and understand that there is still beauty in our world. I'm letting my instrument facilitate connection in a time when we're forced to isolate. I'm remembering back to 1 year ago, when this whim of a project saved me, and now I'm paying that forward in the best ways I can.
This was my first year as The Hiking Harpist, and I can't wait to see what lessons lie ahead.