Pipers Piping

In Lane’s Cove, every now and then, usually around sunset, we hear a piper piping in the Cove. He pipes on a highland bagpipe, and sometimes wears a kilt, walking out to the edge of the breakwater, where his silhouette can be seen against the evening sky. When his music starts, some of us who live near the Cove often wander down to listen, and watch as he switches from tune to tune, playing with a flourish. Recently, one evening, he started off with Amazing Grace, and we think it’s because he’s playing in memory of a friend who died suddenly last week. He’s done that a few times over the years, performing for the sky and sea, a eulogy in music. And we know, we who are listening, that for our anonymous piper, at least in those times of honoring a friend, the music is a form of prayer.

I don’t know about you, but the news from Pakistan has put me in a state of grieving, much as Katrina did, five years ago. The scale of the disaster in Pakistan is unimaginable to me, and the image of an inundated landscape as far as the eye can see is haunting and terrifying. I wonder what and who is underneath all that water. How can I help ease that suffering? The piper piping his song of grief wailed out over the waters here, carrying his sorrow and mine with him. Though he doesn’t know it, his piping is a ministry, one of those hidden ones. Here is someone who stands against the dark and the rising tide, and plays music into the sunset, and who, in his lonely lament, eased the pain of one of his neighbors.

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