If you have ever been to a live orchestra performance, you know that there is always a profound pause when a performance of a musical piece concludes, just before the audience begins to applaud. The pause seems to be a collective opportunity for everyone to fully absorb the beauty they have just experienced before expressing their appreciation.
Last week a nine-year-old boy created a magical moment at Boston Symphony Hall at the conclusion of the Handel and Haydn Society's performance of Mozart's "Masonic Funeral Music." He filled the pause at the end of the performance with a spontaneous "Wow!" that was loud enough for the 2,500 people in attendance to hear. The audience laughed in recognition of his expressing precisely what they were all feeling, and then broke out in applause.
This boy's "Wow!" became a viral sensation as a recording of the moment spread across social media. If you haven't heard the recording, and to get the full effect of this moment, I highly recommend you listen to at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMTx2UX6YbY --it will just take a minute.
This inspirational moment would have been beautiful in and of itself if that was the whole story. But it turns out there was more to the story that makes the moment even more moving.
The orchestra so loved the spontaneous expression of appreciation that they put requests out on social media in hopes of finding who had expressed such enthusiasm for their performance. It was soon learned that a boy named Ronan Mattin, who had attended the concert with his grandfather, was the one who had made the exclamation of "Wow!" They also learned that what had occurred was all the more remarkable, because as the grandfather shared, Ronan is on the autism spectrum and rarely speaks.
My response to this story is, well....., "Wow!" It has served as a reminder that there are moments of astonishment all around us at all times if we are willing to pay attention.
Inspired by young Ronan Mattin, I'd like to share a few of my recent "Wow!" moments.
Watching my grandson learn to read.
Listening to a woman courageously talk about her struggles with addiction, as she seeks to recover and restart her life.
Awakening to the songbirds, present for just a few weeks as they migrate through our area this time of year, as they salute the early dawn.
Listening to a story of Vietnam Vets sharing their memories in anticipation of a traveling version of the Vietnam Wall that is coming to our community soon.
Watching Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo as he effortlessly glides down the lane to make another seemingly impossible shot.
How about you? What "Wow!" moments have you noticed recently? If you are like me, you may find that they are easy to miss or take for granted.
And this is precisely why I am grateful for a nine-year-old boy's reminder not just to notice them, but to celebrate them out loud whenever and wherever possible.
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