Mother Nature has been playing like the playground bully. You know, the one that races out to recess, forms a snowball, and whacks your blindside. January she played like she was a temperate dame, but on the threshold of spring, she took us unaware and pounded the Midwest. I have to admit in our area yesterday morning, the view was gorgeous. At 6:00 a.m. the streets were silent and the trees snow-flocked thicker than a piece of summer Dotted Swiss.
By evening the streets were clear and there was no wind. It was a lovely crisp night. So some of the invited guests managed to make it over to Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast after all where hostess Jeanne Goolsby welcomed guests to a short program by Midwestern harpers. She had her rooms reserved by six ladies with harps for a winter harp retreat. They arrived before Mother Nature could catch up with them, and only the lady from Salina, Kansas could not come this week.
The first thing we learned was the difference between harpers and harpists. These gals had harps with levers for adjusting instead of the pedals of a more orchestral harp. Also they played a lot of Irish folk music used by harpers.
The instruments were works of arts themselves, fashioned from cherry, walnut, and mahogany. A Springfield harper explained to me that each harp has its own sound, and that the type of wood also alters the tones.
Most of the women used their harps for both pleasure and for healing. Several played for Hospice situations, a heart cardio unit, and even in a horse therapy situation. They said they could all give tales of miracles that came from harp music.
One harper took some time to add a tin whistle to a song or two. It was as perky as the harps were soft and heavenly. The music and the evening was a nice end of a snow storm and a mental prelude to St. Paddy’s Day!