"Children Will Glisten"

Waiting back stage for my fleeting moment on stage, I am struck by so many aspects of the experience of theater for students:  the way they all sing along to each other's songs and act with no one watching, the way they help each other change, the way they are there to perform. They sit on each other's laps, giggle, push each other aside, and manage somehow to be both themselves and the characters they are playing simultaneously. They glow, give high-fives; they are proud of themselves and the group, all the while wrapped in a story to which they give life, which they inhabit, which will run through their memories forever. The beauty of their voices in song, they beauty of their friendships, the beauty of the experience is intensified by the  fact that this reality which they have practiced, lived and breathed for months now has an ending that they can feel. The number of performances is finite; the show will be over; we will disperse for vacation, cast back into our separate selves. Each performer is alone on her own journey through the woods, creating his own music, as each will be so soon in their own lives. The time is so precious. And the wisdom of the story so deep. And the beauty and bravery of each student so acute, spotlighted in stage. My day is laced with their songs, this one sung with passion and grace by the witch, Maja Hardikar:

How do you say to your child in the night?
Nothing's all black, but then nothing's all white.
How do you say it will all be all right
When you know that it might not be true?
What do you do?
Careful the things you say:
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do;
Children will see and learn.
Children may not obey, but children will listen.
Children will look to you for which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
Careful before you say, "Listen to me;"
Children will listen.
Careful the wish you make:
Wishes are children.
Careful the path they take;
Wishes come true, not free.
Careful the spell you cast,
Not just on children.
Sometimes a spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you.
Careful the tale you tell:
That is the spell.
Children will listen.
How do you say to a child who's in flight,
"Don't slip away and I won't hold so tight."
What can you say that no matter how slight
Won't be misunderstood?
What do you leave to your child when you're dead?
Only whatever you put in it's head,
Things that your mother and father had said
Which were left to them too.
Careful the things you say:
Children will listen.
Careful you do them too;
Children will see
And learn.
Guide them, but step away
Children will glisten.
Tamper with what is true
And children will turn,
If just to be free.
Careful before you say.
"Listen to me."
Children will listen.

Come to the play!