Some time ago now, I had an unforgettable experience, at The Sydney Opera House where I got to listen to the masterful performance of Pictures at an Exhibition by Sydney Symphony Orchestra by conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. There is something about live music that is exhilarating. As an audience member I felt more than a spectator, I felt part of the event. Yet I was not prepared for the overwhelming emotions that overtook me as I immersed myself, felt the rhythms, followed the tunes, and opened myself to the music.
The music stopped. Everything in me felt like applauding, standing up and showing my appreciation for the magnificent presentation I had just witnessed. Yet there was only stillness around me. I was taken by surprise by the non-reaction of the regular audience members. Soon after I understood the reason for the silence. To this point, I had only witnessed the first movement. This was not the end, but only a short pause. The major piece of the music was only about to start.
Queen Elizabeth’s death has prompted grief and a wave of public mourning across the world. Although the Queen was not part of our immediate family, many of us have “grown up” with her. I had never known a world without her. Through good times and bad, the Queen has been a symbol of unity and continuity. We have witnessed a remarkable life of public service and a life well-lived. The Queen had qualities and virtues often undervalued and overlooked in today’s world. What a magnificent symphony her life was for us to have eye witnessed.
In her 2002 Christmas address, the Queen said: “I know just how much I rely on my own faith to guide me through the good times and the bad… and.. put my trust in God… I draw my strength from the message of hope in the Christian gospel”.
The world has paused. The music ceased. The Queen’s coffin lies in rest. Yet we have only witnessed the very beginning. This is not the end, but only a short pause. No matter how magnificent the first movement was, the major piece of the music is only about to start.
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