Your mesmerizing eighty-eight keys tempt my reminiscent fingers as I wipe the layer of dust accumulated after all this time. These keys envelop a range of memories from blithe to melancholy, from heartrending to apathetic. As I sit on the bench that hasn’t moved since who knows when, I hear echoes of all the notes and chords you’ve played at my command. I hear the treacherous sounds of a beginner releasing all of her enthusiasm on the ivories. I hear the bleak melodies of an angsty teenager pouring out all her emotions into music. I hear the whimsical experiments of a young woman seeking novelty from the instrument she’s played for years.

You were a chore at times, a playground at others, and now a wealth of nostalgia streaming in my head. I remember the humor of sliding off a bracelet that kept crashing into your mahogany frame, as well as the frustration of every little mistake I just couldn’t fix. There were times I was consumed by transposing all across your keys and moments during which I was fascinated by your pedals. I was captivated by every piece of you that combined to create the most breathtaking sounds I’ve ever had to fortune of hearing.

You’ve become a shelf to piles of sheet music I swore I’d get around to learning and practicing. Those stacks of paper have sadly gone untouched, susceptible to their own coating of dust. Some of the pages contain scratches of my writing in graphite from a pencil that’s long since rolled off the top of one of the piles. Other pages look just as they did when they came hot off the printer. You probably would have loved to play the songs boasted on these sheets, but I never gave you the chance.

You’re just as I left you long ago. I had thought it would seem foreign to sit in front of you, yet it seems just yesterday I had drowned you in the holiday music you sang every year. You welcome me back with forgiveness for all the time that’s passed between our last meeting. You even let me play a few notes, just a few as I get back into the mind of a musician, as I realize I’ve come back home.

You sound like rain after a drought. I suddenly cascade songs down you like a waterfall and I don’t even bother to amend each error my ears sense. I would sit here indefinitely if I were to cater to the perfectionist inside me that wants to address all the flaws I make. As I stumble across another song I haven’t played in years, I think I actually wouldn’t mind staying in this sacred spot for a while. I’m going to keep the melodies flowing until the keys give out.