I listened to my father’s voice soar when he sang solos in church.
I saw the first, faltering, ice-skating attempts of my brother, and a year later watched him swoop around a frozen pond, skating backward with a smile on his face.
My mother, who could create anything, took up the art of tole painting in her sixties. I witnessed her absorption and contentment as she studied, practiced, and progressed.
So when I started blogging, “Utilizing Talents and Skills” became one of my categories for living and aging well. This post and the next will detail my first experience with talent development.
As a young child, I believed I should share my special abilities whenever and wherever possible. I formed this philosophy from two unrelated experiences in church: hearing a parable about buried talents and singing a song about a little light: “Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine!”
I assumed the light I should shine was the talent I shouldn’t bury. I knew about talents. We had assemblies at school where the older students tap-danced, played the accordion, and attempted to yodel.
I wondered what my talent could be.
It definitely wasn’t singing. As Aunt Beulah said, I couldn’t carry a tune and shouldn’t try. While other family members received compliments for their soaring voices, my tuneless chirping caused merriment in some, fear I wouldn’t stop in others.
Convinced my voice was better off under a bushel, I looked for a different talent to share. Many of my third-grade friends studied piano. While I envied the important-looking satchels filled with music they carried on lesson day, I’d never thought of learning to play myself.
Then one Sunday I watched teenage perfection, Mavis Beck, with queenly posture and slender fingers, execute a dizzying rendition of Flight of the Bumblebee.
I wanted that talent.
Will little Janet’s pursuit of a talent be realized?
Does she understand what talent is?
Does it matter?
Tune in next week to find out!
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