In the video, Aric Harding plays a gentle, haunting melody on his piano, his face in shadow, the instrument highlighted by the sun and his legs planted in murky, brown water sloshing around his living room.
Harding had a friend record the video Tuesday in his Houston, Texas, home for his 13-year-old son, an avid piano player.
“I just wanted to make a quick video to show him that pianos works fine,” even in a flooded home, he said Thursday.
The family had evacuated days earlier, when floodwaters from Harvey started to seep in through the floorboards. Harding had returned to retrieve some beloved stuffed animals for his seven children, to offer them some comfort.
He posted the video on Instagram, where it has struck a chord with people from across the globe. He says many have told him it has helped them take a timeout from the chaos of the flooding.
“I was doing something simple, but it’s getting to be used for something that makes a difference for people and that’s awesome,” he said.
Since taking the video, people from the church where he works as a pastor and locals helped rip out the flood-soak innards of his home.
“Our front yard looks like an apocalypse, there’s just mounds of furniture and flooring,” he said.
He and his family don’t expect they'll be able to return for months, but they’re taking solace in the community rallying to help those in need.
“I’ve met so many people and had real conversations with people I’ve never had chance to talk to before,” Harding said. “(Harvey will) change the city forever.”
Harding’s son chuckled at the video and told his dad the piano was badly out of tune. But they could be getting a new one soon.
“We have had a lot of piano offers,” Harding said.