Natalie Ogbourne

A few months ago, Emily at Chatting at the Sky wrote a post about what she had learned during the previous month. Her list was filled with the serious and the lighthearted and it made me wonder what, if anything, I was learning. By the end of the day, I had my own list and have made one each month since. The learning continues. This month, Emily invited her readers to share their lists.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Here are 5 things I learned this June:

1. Five chords: E, E minor, G, D, C. I am learning to play the guitar. For much of my adult life I have wished that I knew how to play the guitar. It finally occurred to me that I could learn.

2. Harmony applies to more than music and getting along with people, as in living together in peace and harmony. It is the beauty that rises from the uniqueness of who we are as we experience life together. Sadly, at 44, this is something I still needed to learn.

3. My girls’ interest in sewing did not require immediate formal instruction, as I fretted that it would. A pile of sheets, access to the sewing machine, and a viewing of the A & E version of Pride and Prejudice was enough to prompt them to produce bonnets and several regency style dresses, complete with pleats and sashes. They must be adherents to my brother’s How hard can it be? philosophy and are willing to learn from their mistakes.

4. How to add text to a photo and upload it to my blog. I was not prepared for all I have had to learn just to manage a simple blog, one of the first being a little html. Who knew? I didn’t and I’m glad. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to embark on this journey if I had known html was hidden around a bend in the road.

5. Before heading out the door in that new casual skirt, always, always check it out in full sun. Probably that is all I need to say.

Learning has taken me to places I might not otherwise have gone. In 2012, the year designated Old Dog: New Tricks, I learned again, after a twenty year interlude, to be comfortable singing alone rather than in a group. And then I got to sing with a friend, so I needed to learn how to sing some harmony. As a life-long, melody-singing soprano, that did not come easily. It was hard but I adore it.

Natural Bridge, Yellowstone National Park

Natural Bridge, Yellowstone National Park

Learning that one new skill, harmonizing, reached beyond singing and into the rest of my life. If I had not learned to harmonize, I don’t think it would have occurred to me that I could move from wishing I played the guitar to learning how. Without my newfound ear for musical harmony, an understanding of how the uniqueness that we bring into the lives of those around us contributes to a beautiful whole would have continued to elude me.

What have you learned recently? Might it lead somewhere unexpected?