Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Practice Field

Four years is a long time when you're young. I spent four years on the high school practice field, playing in the marching band. That's 2/3 of my teen years. That's a lot of time. Four years to make friends. Four years to have a crush on a certain trumpet player. Or percussionist. Or any boy who would pay attention to me. Four years to figure out who I was and who I was becoming.
Certain phrases echo at me. Eight-to-five glide step. Right face. Left Face. Forward. March. The sound of the show coming together and the sound of it falling apart. The cadence as we practiced entering the field. A well-timed rimshot when Mr. Lingwall cracked a rare joke.
There was marching in 100-degree weather. There was marching in the dark. There was marching before school and after school and even when it rained.
There was laughing and playing and drooling over Chris Montiel's '55 Chevy. There was sitting on the grass while another section got some personal attention. There was earning a solo when somebody else fully expected it to be theirs. There was sucking on lemon drops to make your lips pucker, and there were many reasons to pucker. Unfortunately, I only had one reason, and that was my size 7C mouthpiece.
The day I took the podium as Drum Major was my proudest moment on the practice field. I learned about leadership and confidence and how to get the attention of 240 people all at once. A whistle helps.
I learned a lot of things on that practice field.
I gave everything I had on that practice field.
And I was given much on that practice field.
Four years is a long time when you're young; and even though I didn't know it at the time, every step I made on that practice field taught me how to march, or glide step, if you will, through life.  


  1. Well, clearly you are KILLING IT at WIFYR, missy. This is terrific!

  2. I like this idea: four years to...

    And just for a bit, I lived life through the eyes of someone in the band. Cool.