“Vibraphone, that’s it. I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the name of that thing. Now who was it that played the fire out of it? Old dude, couple of generations back old, Frank Sinatra old. Goodman? Armstrong? no, maybe it was Rich? No, that’s not him, Buddy kept the rhythm. Rich, Richie, Lionel Richie, noooo, that’s way wrong, too young and way too syrupy; but the Lionel is on track. Lionel, Lionel, hotel, Lionel, hotel, Lionel, Fairfield Inn hotel, no, Hampton Inn, Lionel Hampton; GOT IT.”
I don’t know, but I may have been a little dehydrated when I came across that sow.
She was laying on her side happy as the proverbial ‘pig in slop” with no less than twelve squirming piglets vying for position. It was breakfast time in Brisas del Mar and something about that gross of porcine posteriors all lined up in a row reminded me of the vibes[i] and sent my sleep deprived, dried-up up brain off the rails for a bit. The above interior conversation was the result of that derailment.
It was a mighty pretty scene though, in an organic sort of way. All those little pink piggies bellied up to the bar with their momma singing her low throaty song of love and contentment. Maybe it was the song that reminded me of the vibes and Hampton.
I seem to recall that Hampton[ii] couldn’t contain a slightly off key growl of sorts as he played the instrument he was created to play. His joy at being right where he was supposed to be, doing what he was made to, just could not be contained. It had to come out some way, and I think the growl, just like the sow’s song was an unbridled prayer of joy and thanksgiving at having discovered his purpose in this life.
I understood that, and tearing myself away from the scene, I found myself whistling in the early morning mist as I headed back for breakfast with my team. I felt refreshed and new and ready to take on anything.
You see, about a week or so before my piggy epiphany, I stepped out of the hustle and bustle of everyday twenty-first century life and into the pages of a National Geographic magazine.
We were working in Brisas del Mar: a little village eighty or so miles south and a century or two away from Cartagena, Colombia.
Brisas del Mar is a little piece of Heaven, even if it is hot enough to give Satan pause.
Mud homes with thatched roofs line the pitted dirt roads. Laughing children, and gracious how many there are, crowd the doorways and sheepishly wave, or hide behind their mother’s skirts in faux shyness. At dusk the air is filled with the sounds of laughter and the aroma of a hundred cooking pots with a hundred culinary delights therein, and beneath it all the burros and roosters hold sway with their supporting chorus.
It is the peace of the place however, as well as many others like it I been blessed to visit over the years, that brings a certain yearning to my soul. For that peace is not to be found in the glorious cacophony of sight, sound and smell, but it is to be found in my heart and in my soul.
For me at least, in my life, the peace of Christ, the promised rest of the Creator is found in working with my brothers and sisters, wherever they may be, for the Kingdom of God in a hands-on, dirt way up under your fingernails sort of way.
My prayer for you is that you find that place of peace and of rest in your life, wherever it may be; but never forget it takes courage, faith and fortitude, for you must seek to find.
Remember the promise?
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
[i] Vibes is an abbreviated name for the vibraphone, usually employed by jazz musicians when referring to the instrument.
[ii] I recommend that you follow the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_rTICMVXQQ and enjoy Lionel Hampton’s rendition of Flying Home.