Despite my disastrous stab at drumming, I was still itching to play, but when I got an email about an outdoor drumming circle this weekend, I thought of a bunch of reasons not to go: I didn’t have a drum, I’d melt in the sun, I would be hopelessly lost as a beginner, I needed a chair…Sticking to your comfort zone and routine is tempting, but it was too beautiful not to go. I borrowed my friend’s drum, grabbed a beach chair, slathered on the sunscreen, and prepared to have fun despite my lame reservations.
And, like most things we resist, there was nothing to fear. Turned out, in fact, to be the highlight of my weekend. The group met by the Charles River in perfect sunshine (with extra drums and chairs on hand, incidentally) and was led by a teacher who was kind and patient, not at all concerned that beginners were busting in to his legendary circle. If you get lost, he told us, just chill out and appreciate that we’re outside on a beautiful day drumming by the river. Just the perspective I needed.
Everyone caught onto the rhythms, creating a great energy and sound (some boaters passing by even applauded our efforts and requested a Santana tune); the people were warm and friendly, and the atmosphere lulled me into feeling more like an intermediate than a beginner, a cool trick of the sun. I met a nice guy too who was even more of a beginner but came because it sounded like fun—a good attitude to cultivate, I thought. Saying no yields nothing; but saying yes almost always leads to adventures in serendipity.