Years had passed since she’d held her violin. A beauty, having evaded the wearing of time, streamlined from years of daily practice—now baggage in the closet, collecting dust.

Her fingers slid seamlessly into the bow hold engraved into memory. Gazing at the aged patina on the violin, she reminisced.

The thrill of mastering—conquering—passages.

Bowing, as thunderous applause and whoops of admiration filled the great halls she’d once played in.

Her eyes traced the grain on the centuries-old wood as she recalled how her childhood self had powered through demonically difficult pieces, wanting to grow up faster than everybody else.

She breathed in the familiar musty scent of her violin. Waves of nostalgia crashed over her, a flood demolishing a house of cards, tears overflowing, overwhelming, as her chest panged with… what?

She hoisted the instrument onto her shoulder and began to play.

It had been a taxing, arduous past, with tears and discarded friendships, the stench of failure still stinging.

_____But hearing the music again, how it was bringing colour back into her silenced world, she realised what the familiar feeling in her chest was.

It was soaring—like her lyrical passages and melodic solos of worlds past.

It was joy.


Esther Oh
Diocesan School for Girls


Note from Author: A written piece on my joy—of getting out my violin and creating sounds that shine like jewels when you hold them up in the light. Music, my lodestar when times get tough and the darkness is beckoning. My violin, which cushions my love and pillows my joy when I play.