I was tired of the rejection. I was tired of the heat. Most of all, I was tired of wearing a cheap grey suit made of 99% polyester accompanied by a silk Paisley tie that had seen better days.
Such is life as a Mormon missionary.
On this day my companion and I walked down a narrow street made of cobblestone. I took my tri-folded daily planner out of my suit pocket and gazed down the schedule for the day. Not a single appointment in sight. This wasn’t uncommon. Most Germans didn’t want discuss religion let along listen to two young Americans tell them why they should join another church which outlaws beer.
The street was nearly empty and I could hear the cobblestones creak under my Rockports. My feet were tired and my companion was hungry, but we had another hour to burn before heading back to our apartment.
And then I heard it. Faint at first but unmistakable nonetheless. Those first few guitar chords that took me back to my family and friends. Then came the following lyric:
“Mother, do you think they’ll like this song?”
“Do you hear that?” I asked my companion as I tried to determine where the music was coming from. We found ourselves standing under a two story home that must have been at least 150 years old. As best we could tell someone was playing “The Wall” with their windows open as we passed by at just the right time.
He finally heard it, and we turned to each other and smiled as we listened to “Mother” from Pink Floyd.
It was a small slice of home that came at just the right moment. Not exactly the type of music missionaries normally listen to, but maybe that’s why it worked in this instance.
When the song came to an end, I backed off the sidewalk into the street and yelled “Danke schon!” before continuing down the street.
We still had 55 minutes to burn.[audio:mother.mp3]