Skill U: 8.1

Honey Walker | Van Windenburg Estate

Week Eight, Day One – Senior Year

Editor’s Note: Honey’s journal entries are numbered according to week and day of the week. As she does not keep daily entries, gaps appear in the numbering. Please see the Table of Contents for the full listing of entries.


One semester left. I’m ready.

This morning, I was looking back through my journals of this adventure I’ve had. I can’t believe how young I was just four years ago! I was skinny, too–I didn’t yet know that musicians needed to be strong!


I couldn’t really play the violin–my bow angles were all wrong, and I didn’t know how to relax when I held the instrument. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be, “Relax, Honey.”

Honey Walker

That goes for working out, too. Back then, I thought that the harder I strained, the stronger I’d get. I’ve learned now that the key to strength is relaxation.

Honey Walker

I was so awkward socially, too, and I didn’t know that relaxation is also a key ingredient of charisma! I remember that whenever I was with my dorm-mates, I was always thinking about what I would say next. I was afraid to let there be any pauses in our conversations because I didn’t want them to think I was boring. Somehow, I thought that it was up to me to keep everyone entertained.

Honey Walker

I didn’t know, either, that I’d become myself through this journey.

When I read that email from my dad, confessing that the real reason that he wanted me to go to college was to honor of his first love, his high school sweetheart, whom he let go so she could enroll in the university, I had this fear–or maybe a false premonition–that by following her destiny, I was somehow losing my own to become a clone of her.

But that didn’t happen. My dad didn’t let that happen. When he wrote to me a few semesters later to advise me that, when the time came, I needed to follow my own heart, even if meant choosing something different than what he would choose, that was his way of setting me free. It was so hard for me to read that and really understand what he meant because it required that I choose independence. I somehow always had this idea that I’d be Dad’s girl, living the life he wanted me to live.

The funny thing is that, in a way, I am living the life he wants me to live, because I’m living the life that’s right for me and that is of my own choosing. So in a way, I guess I’m still Dad’s girl, even though I am living my life now.

Coming to Windenburg was the choice that set me onto my own freedom.


I knew the moment I landed here that I’d come to a place where I could find my true self. I knew this was home.

I’m so grateful that I have one more semester with the Villareals before my career takes me away. I’ve grown so much through caring for and knowing this family. How is it that in caring for others we find ourselves?

I’ve discovered what I want to do with my life: I want to play music.


I’ve experienced the healing of music, and I’ve been able to share that with others. That, for me, is the essence of what I am here to do.

Jacques told me the other day, “Ma petite, your music touches the very soul!”

I feel he may be right–I mean, not about my music, in particular, but about all of music! It connects us–it brings our souls into harmony with the rest of the universe.


I was talking to a cellist the other day who told me that he wanted to play that instrument because he wanted to feel those vibrations through his body.

“When I play Bach’s cello suites–any of them, but Suite Number 1, in particular–you know how Bach was when he wrote in G major–then I feel that all the cells of my body are brought to resonate with the celestial music that is always around us, that comes to this earth from the heavens itself.”

I have to agree! I feel that way when I play the partitas for solo violin.

In my Medieval Cosmology class we learned that the ancient astronomers believed that it was the planets’ love of God that moved them in their spheres. I think there is more to that than mythology: I feel that it is a description that gets at the truth of the matter. When we play music, especially sacred music, like what Bach wrote, then the love for God fills us–it fills every space within our body, and we are brought into harmony with all that is.

What better way to live than this? What better purpose than to bring this wholeness to others?


I am full of gratitude! Thank you, Dad, for insisting I come to college. Thank you for allowing me to find my reason for being here on this beautiful planet.

What a long journey I’ve taken from that little girl who felt she always needed to work so hard to prove herself every step the way! Now I know that we all walk in grace…

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