Sing For Water West happened in Bristol this weekend. I had been working towards this event since I joined the choir earlier this year. Every week we practiced the songs we had been learning and listened to tapes while doing the mundane parts of housework such as ironing.
Choirs all over the west of England had also been practicing these same pieces and on Saturday, they were all brought in by coach from various towns and cities, to make up 1000 of us on the steps of the amphitheatre by the waterfront.
My health has not been too brilliant over the last few months and Harry, too has been having his chemo and is needing a lot more care. It has been difficult to make definite commitments to anyone about anything because we never seem to know just how we will be feeling or guarantee that we will be able to see any promised things through.
However, earlier this year, I made a commitment to learn these songs and I booked my place for the Big Sing and paid my deposit.
I have really enjoyed learning the songs and felt quite liberated after singing together with new found friends each week.
When I woke up on the Saturday of the Big Sing, I was rather dismayed to see that it was raining. We all were due to meet up for a rehearsal at 10 am that was to last 2 hours. I packed essential things in my back pack and dosed myself up with Paracetamol and just hoped that I was strong enough to do all that standing with a raging back/hip pain.
By the time I got off the bus to the appointed place, the rain was now very steady. I met up with people I knew and eventually got to chat to people from other towns, who I didn't know.
I was amazed that the two hour rehearsal went quicker than I had imagined and I really loved the feeling of a mass sing, even though the rain was still steady and some of the women in front of me insisted on putting up umbrellas which meant that I couldn't see the conductor properly and had to watch that my eye wasn't poked out.
By twelve o'clock, the practice was over and I decided to go to a quiet place and eat my sandwiches and have a rest from all that standing.
I found a covered shelter and enjoyed my lunch. I decided on a hot drink in a cafe next and met up with other singers I knew who were going on to do some busking to help raise money for the Water Charity.
I'd never done anything like that in all my (nearly seventy years) but I suddenly thought, YES! I could do it.
So although I didn't know the songs well because they were different from the Water pieces, I think I managed to bluff my way through because there were people there who knew the pieces well. Busking involved more standing but I was really enjoying doing this by now.
Eventually it was 3pm and time to assemble for the grand entry of the Big Sing which meant more standing.
However, a little miracle happened..... well a big miracle really...... the skies were by now, blue and the weather was warm. I took out the sunhat that I'd optimistically packed. All of the singers had been asked to wear blues and greens to signify water. We were trying to raise money for the needy people of other countries who die every few minutes because of lack of water or through drinking dirty water. There we were with wet things all rolled up in our back packs because we get too much over here..... but that's the way it is on this Earth.... all or nothing.
Bristol people turned out in force to come and watch and support us.
After filing in to our appointed places, we started to sing for 45 minutes. We were not allowed to use our sheet music but we had learned it all by memory and some of the pieces were in other languages, which is not easy to learn at my age.
Singing en masse like this, made me feel tremendously good and everything seemed suddenly to be very worth the effort of standing in the rain. I felt part of the *big picture* in life and this brought me out in goose bumps of pleasure.
Whatever should happen to me health wise, from now on...... nothing could take this feeling away from me. I had followed something through and it had been good.