And Paula Heard

They spoke in signs. Jeff and Paula, deaf since early illness stole their hearing, were walking down the aisle, a rocky path bordered by multi-colored dahlias, snap dragons, giant white pines. On that day, overlooking Brant Lake, Jeff and Paula would recite vows and unite their lives in marriage. Jeff had arrived under the natural Arbor of overlapping maple branches, a myriad of intersecting limbs. He turned, his gaze consumed by the view of Paula in white, led in on the arm of his father Jim, who, in several moments, would be her father-in-law.

I officiated but at my side a young woman with a copy of the ceremony prepared to sign the wedding…Except. Except halfway down the steps of rough granite Paula paused and turned to Jim. The lines beneath her eyes tightened. Something bothered Paula in that brief journey to nature’s altar.

Facing Jim she signed. A request. And Jim, smiling, signed back. What was she asking, this bride rapturous on her wedding day? The guests could only wonder.

I asked the interpreter, ”What does Paula want to know?”

“Paula wants to know if there is music playing. That is all. She wants music at her wedding.”

Was it Brahms or Handel or probably Pachelbel’s canon. I do not remember and Paula could not hear but, yes, there was music. Yes, Paula, beautiful music that softly caressed that August afternoon. And, even though Paula could not hear the melodies floating over Brant Lake, Paula’s heart was filled with the symphony of love. The most precious music ever created. And Paula heard.

For what is the music that exalts the spirit and raises us to the heavens? It is the music that echoes from the soul, the majestic music of the heart.


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