And Rest

There is a moment
In musical rehearsal
When all the players
The choir
The woodwind and brass
The strings and percussion
The entire orchestra
Stops
And there is peace

The conductor says two words
‘And rest’
Voices cease to sing
The woodwind put down oboes and clarinets
The brass lay down trumpets and trombones
Others do the same
Because the music is over
There is no audience
There is no applause
In that moment
Quietness reigns
Yet the quiet that follows
Remains harmonious

There is a certain silence
A space
For reflection and repose
The music is remembered
And so we contemplate
The highs
The lows
The passage of melody
Sometimes we feel sad
Because the chords
Have drifted away
Finished
Completed

Some will feel loss
Others experience relief
And others deep sadness
Together
We share
That moment of closure
When the conductor
Says
‘And rest.’