Mr. Holland's Opus struck a chord deep inside me many years ago in college when I watched it for the first time. It's the story of a musician who takes a temporary gig teaching to pay the bills. The temporary gig turns into a long term career as his son is born, a house is bought, and his son has special needs that require a private school tuition. He finds his way into becoming a master teacher, but is greatly reluctant because his greatest work lies unfinished for years on his piano.
I have seen it many times over the years, but tonight I watched it again for the first time since I have been back in the teaching profession. It was an emotional event as I found many similarities. I find myself becoming a master teacher, able to engage children and push them to levels they never dreamed existed, and yet I longingly run my fingers across my piano keys at night as I pass by... like a lover gently brushing her fingers against her lover's skin. Music runs deep within my soul. It is a hunger that I cannot explain.
I rarely sit down at my piano any more, presumably because I lack the time to do so. But in honesty, I rarely sit at my piano because the hunger becomes a fire that consumes my mind and my heart. I lose myself in the music as it twists and twirls around in my head. I forget that anyone or anything else exists.
I have recently considered that life is slipping away from me. There is much greatness that I had planned to do and achieve, and instead I find myself teaching small children to read year after year. That is greatness, I guess, just a very different life than I had ever imagined. I had pictured teaching as a temporary gig on my way to doing big things. I am waiting to see what God's plan is. Will He teach me to love what I do and allow the hunger and passion for music to lie dormant so that I am able to be content with my life, or does He plan to open up doors for something different?
So tonight I find myself teary eyed, watching Mr. Holland's Opus, wishing for what might have been, but at the same time finding the beauty in what is.