I loved the relaxing pace of this summer, full of whimsy and spontaneous activities, deep projects and explorations. I attended dance festivals and a ukulele workshop at the Academy of Hawaiian Arts (hint for the next spring story concert!), and wrote the beginnings of songs with my special Merlin dulcimer. There were weeks spent in Maine, and Carmel, and Palm Springs (mighty hot down there, so grateful for our West Sonoma County natural coastal air-conditioning). And then in mid-August came the first Bija World Music Summer Camp-- a sweet, small group of kids that helped make our first camp attempt a great success. Thank you, families who participated! And thanks also to our great teen counselors Lucia Jameau & Ella Park for a job well done.
Now the new school year has started, and I've declined a few school music teaching opportunities in order to devote the majority of my time to directing the Bija Choir and developing the non-profit end of things. Aside from repertoire selection and arrangement, there is publicity and outreach, registration and emails, fundraising, balance sheets and board meetings to be done. A number of people have asked, "Is Bija Choir all you'll be doing this fall?" to which my inner voice responds, they have no idea how many hours, how much hard work this involves! and I admit I've felt a little dejected at first, but then I recall one of my favorite Rumi sayings:
"If you become irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?"
and so I smile at the thought of becoming a shiny, polished being someday.
And as for the "Spicy New Season" part of the title, all will become evident as the season unfolds with concerts that shouldn't be missed!