Wednesday, December 9, 2009

In the Heart of a Scotsman

Christmas time more than twenty- five years ago I went to a nursing home with a children’s choir to sing carols. I stood up in front of a small gathering of people whose faces were creased, showing their true age, but I could see in their gleaming eyes the twinkle of very young hearts experiencing the true joys of the Christmas season. Their enthusiasm brought a smile to my face and I sang as if I was performing at an opera house.

Afterwards an elderly Scottish man came forward. He gave me a hug and asked me my name as he commented on my big blue eyes and the dimple piercing my cheek. I told him my name is Beverly, but in the ignorance of my youth, I forgot to ask his name. As I went to leave, he pressed a small piece of paper in my hand. Later I read the following words.

“Sweet Beverly fair will you sing for me a love song in the morn, with the dew like jewels clinging to the flowers newly born, and a lyric song at sunset at evenings gentle close. For I have seen your eyes that brightly shine like the dew drops on the rose. Twas thy voice loving in the Beverly and thy winsome winning smile that made this world a happier place Bonnie Beverly of Argyle.”

The piece of paper was unsigned. I believe it is a poem he wrote for me. Although, some have thought it may have been the words to a song. To me it was something special. I have saved this small ragged piece of paper all of these years and a smile comes to my face every time I read it.

Recently while I was studying my family genealogy, I discovered that my ancestors were from Argyleshire Scotland. The memory of this poem flooded my thoughts, and I found it very ironic that the man had put Bonnie Beverly of Argyle.

Music has a way of connecting us. It touches our hearts and souls. I have always felt a tug at my heart when I hear the sound of Celtic music. It does not matter that I cannot understand the word often sung. There is something about the music, which calls me home, to a place, I have never been, and I find comfort there.

I cannot help but think that maybe our singing that night brought the Scottish man back to the days of his youth. Back to fond memories of the land, he once knew with its green countryside, mountains and moors.

This Christmas season let us not forget that sometimes the most simple of gifts from the heart have a way of reserving a place in our memory more deeply than any store bought gift.

(c) 2008 Beverly Kent-Helmond

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