Sunday Things: Jasmine and Jennifer

Sometimes objects transcend the confines of their utilitarian objectives. It is as if they too possess souls in the form of meaning and possibilities and their souls are, in some circumstances, too large for the shell that contains them.

Imagine such an object in the form of a violin that symbolizes a young girl’s yearnings for something special and beyond what she has or is capable of at the present moment. Violins are expensive and frivolous indeed if there are budgetary restraints and considerations for things more immediately important and necessary.

But a violin that is yearned for with all of a young girl’s heart is so much more than just a violin. It is the promise of elegant dexterity in drawing forth from the polished piece cradled in one’s hands sighs and murmurs of beauty mingled so thoroughly with music that they are one and the same. It is aspiration with strings, a box crafted with wings, both friend and vehicle for a wondrous journey.

Yesterday my daughter had a special birthday celebration dinner with her step-mom, Jennifer, and family, Jude, Romeo and Andrew (I was there too!). At the end of dinner the wait staff came out clapping and singing and carrying a large wrapped present. Imagine my shock when Jasmine opened her present to her dreams come true — a violin. Jasmine is besotted with that violin!

We were driving over to Jennifer’s house after leaving the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice the fog on the steep hillsides. It reminded me of the Smokey Mountains. “Isn’t that beautiful!?” I asked Jasmine. “Yes! Yes it is.” she breathed dreamily. Glancing over at her I saw her gazing rapturously at her violin.

I’ve been blown away every time I think of Jennifer’s getting a violin for Jasmine. Even more than the beauty of the violin itself, the beauty of the gesture is what takes my breath away.

“I used my income tax return money to buy it.” Jennifer told me. “Objects, things, they  don’t matter so much to me anymore but I would do anything for Jasmine.”

Jasmine showed me the card that Jenny got her. On the inside flap is this:

I have loved you with an everlasting love… — Jeremiah 31:3 NIV