Saturday was the annual Cooper book singing. I woke up early, bused to St. Paul, wandered through a residential neighbourhood, and eventually saw a familiar looking sign with shape notes on it. The sound of singing was echoing off the walls of the houses and the sun shown brightly on the church. This was the place.

Inside, gathering area in front of the sanctuary was filled with people singing. I hurridly slipped off my coat and joined in. During one of the breaks, wanting people to share this with, I texted a number of friends and acquaintances. I sipped some of “Martha's Soother Tea”, made from the home recipe of one of the singers and had a donut hole. Around me, singers chatted and conversed. Ten minutes later the break concluded and we went back to singing.

Vihein showed up in the middle of the lesson. Her hair, which is a different colour every time we meet, was blue. After the break, I pulled her up to the front row and we sat in the middle of the square. We were all awake now, and singing loudly. One of the singers, a larger, seemingly perpetually happy man led us through a particularly rousing refrain perhaps six times before shaking Vihein's hand while beaming.

Lunch was unbelievably large and delicious. And, after another several rounds of singing, we were done.

Until Sunday, when we all invaded someone's house, filled their sunroom, and sang again. There were people visiting from Georgia who hadn't been in the area for more than a decade and, as things wrapped up, people were shedding tears at the thought that it might be another decade.




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