Searching for “Joy”

I can’t imagine what my mission to Germany would have been like had I not had the solace of music to fall back on. Most days were filled with frustration followed by weeks of rejection.

But music took my mind off the challenges and thoughts of friends and family back home in Ogden, Utah. Songs like “I Am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel helped maintain my sanity and gave me the strength to wake up the next morning and continue the work.

A few months into my service I stood at the counter at a tiny music store begging the owner to help me find the CD of a pianist I’d heard the week before. I’d only heard one song, but I loved it and had to have it.

But I couldn’t remember the name of the artist or the title of the CD. The owner was an elderly woman who was uncharacteristically patient with a young man who barely spoke a lick of German.

After listening to a number of classical and new age songs in search of the one, she disappeared for a few minutes and returned with a CD in hand. She said this was her own copy and it wasn’t for sale. The artist was George Winston.

She played the CD over the store speakers. I didn’t recognize the first two songs. But then I heard it. Track 3 off December. Yes! YES!

When the song hit the 1:21 marker I started jumping up and down. The notes danced in a playful manner, and I must have been grinning from ear to ear. It gave me goosebumps.

Unfortunately, the CD had to be ordered and shipped from the US and the cost was around $25 which is a fortune to a missionary. I had to wait another couple of months before I convinced a church member to make me a tape.

But I’ve been a George Winston fan ever since. This is the time of year that December is heard throughout our home.

It made me smile and dance around back then.

It does the same today.

7 thoughts on “Searching for “Joy”

  1. It was musicians like this that inspired my piano playing when I was younger. When the piano was my best friend. I totally forgot about George Winston.



  2. I love George, my wife turned me on to him a few years ago. I love his Lucy and Linus music, Vince Guaraldi (Peanuts gang) interpretation.

    BTW My father grew up in Ogden. Gorgous country…


  3. You’re the reason I love George Winston music. I was just a kid when you came home from your mission and would play his music. I fell in love with it. I even bought his 20th anniversary CD of December a few years ago and now Brecklyn loves to listen to it.


  4. I made an Enya station on Pandora yesterday during the kids’ quiet time and his songs would play regularly. I have never heard him before, at least not knowing. He’s fabulous!!!


  5. This is very pretty. I’m very impressed that the lady at the store was able to figure out the song you were referring to.

    Music has got me through many hard times.


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