I'm pretending that I'm snuggled in a little stone cabin on the west coast of Ireland, watching the waves come in and practicing the harp. The lights are dim, because Irish cabins are, by nature, dim, and the candles are lit.
I'm also pretending this is a peat fire.
If I squint and imagine that peaty, earthy smell,
Beats watching the ground blizzard race across the frozen ground here in Minnesota.
Really, it's all about setting the scene-behind-the-scenes for the Celtic concert on Saturday. About getting me into the space where I can feel the music consistently and easily, connecting with where it came from, pulling those images from the strings for myself and my audience.
I know the Arran Boat Song and the Skye Boat Song so well I can close my eyes at times and keep playing. Imagine the waves and the rocking of the boat, and make the harp follow my thoughts. I think about what Wales would be like, though I've never been there, and imagine the lark soaring, making the harp soar with my thoughts. I remember Ireland and its rich, green energy, and the harp feels it, too.
And the harp and I will carry these scenes with us and perform them for you on Saturday.