Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A South African gets his pipes crossed

A beautiful, touching story from a generous South African musician.

As a bagpiper, I’ve played many gigs up in Gauteng, but not so many since recently moving to Cape Town.

Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man.

He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at the municipal cemetery in Kraaifontein.

I now stay in Simonstown and was not familiar with the northern suburbs, so I got a bit lost on my way there.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologised to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down.
The guys had already started filling in and not really knowing what else to do, I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.

I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends.
I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ’Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep.
They wept, I wept, and we all wept together.
When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car.
Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, Jislaaik, I never seen nothin' like that before in the twenty years I've been putting in septic tanks."

 ....Apparently, I'm still lost.