I began playing the flute when I was in 3rd grade. I remember how frustrated I was that I couldn’t seem to make the “right” sound out of it for months. All the other students seem to grasp just where to put their mouth and how to blow into it and here I struggled and was lucky if I got a small toot out of the thing…but I loved the sound of the instrument. Whenever I heard someone playing I was mesmerized by it. To this day I could listen to it for hours (that and the cello actually but that’s another story). I kept at it and by the time I entered high school I had been in 2 competitions. Simple pieces, but I was a long way from that 3rd grader who couldn’t make a sound. My teacher suggested I take up piccolo as they had no one in the high school who could do it. They had a very old mostly wood one with a silver head joint and silver keys. I can still feel it in my hands. It had the richest sound. I played that and flute (working my way to 1st chair by the time I was a senior). When I graduated I had to give the piccolo back as the school owned it. My student flute had gotten me quite far and I was thrilled when I opened my parents’ graduation gift and saw it was a solid silver gemeinhardt opened hole flute. I played it ALL the time. I found whenever I needed a break and felt stressed out I could simply pick it up and play and everything washed away. All though college and law school it went everywhere with me. While I was pregnant with my daughter it was difficult to play because I couldn’t seem to get enough air, but once she was born she would coo and smile as I played for her. As bad things began to happen in my life my one constant was going outside into the garden or to a park (when I lived in a city) and simply playing my flute. After my divorce was final and I was packing to move I couldn’t find it. It was always kept in my room on a shelf. I found later that my ex had taken it when he was over visiting with the kids and pawned it. I went to the shop and found it had already been sold. That was 4 years ago and I have yet to be able to replace it. One day I will and then I will take it into Central Park and sit among the trees and simply let everything that has been pent up inside for so long go; and just play.