Sometimes It’s Just the Simple Things

For years I have attempted to roll an Italian r. I just couldn’t do it. I thought it was the way my mouth was formed that was preventing me from doing it. I suppose you could say I blamed myself for it.

Years ago I took voice lessons and the instructor gave me an Italian song to learn. He tried and tried to teach me how to roll an r, and the more I tried the more frustrated I became. I felt the song I was singing wasn’t good enough because I couldn’t give this one consonant the Italian justice it deserved.

Fast forward to today. I decided to no longer be attached to not doing something, but to at least do some research on how to roll an r. YouTube has just about everything on how-to do stuff, and sure enough, I found plenty of videos of how to do this. Many of the presenters said it took them years to learn how to do it. Well, I didn’t have years to learn, as my current voice instructor gave me an Italian song that was full of this letter. I wanted to experience how it sounds to include this in the music, and honor the language.

Today was my voice lesson, and I asked her (who has a lovely soprano operatic voice, and one who is used to singing opera) how to do it. The good news is what she told me was similar to what the YouTube video presenters said (where to position your tongue and where the sound should come from). As we went through the song piece by piece and came across a word with an r, I practiced it, and much to my surprise we both heard me roll an r. Sure, it was a fraction of a second, but my instructor confirmed I had done it! Needless to say, I was over the moon! But I had to quickly come back to the moment and finish the song. (But I wanted to jump up and spin around in pure happiness!)

Later this evening I replayed that moment in time, and it brought a broad smile to my face. Sometimes God will provide times, no matter how quickly they come and go, that lets one know that what seems impossible is indeed just the opposite. It undergirds a notion that perhaps if that can happen, it can be so again, even in a song that is full of Italian rolled r’s.

What blesses the soul is the little simple things that make the impossible seem doable…and that’s my strengthenize moment of the day.


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