I often wake these days with a song in my heart. I begin my day with my usual routines, and sometimes I don’t notice the song that is singing in me until later in the morning. Most days, I begin to hum the tune or sing the words of the song that is in my heart.
Through my life, I’ve taken to noticing the song in my heart. I listen to the words, singing them inside my head, or singing aloud into the house. The cat notices, and I think she smiles, a bit (who knows?). When I remember the words – I am known for the encyclopedia of words to songs I carry within me – I sing them out loud, enjoying my voice, enjoying the memory of the words, and calling to mind the memories and images that arise.
When I was a girl, my mother had a lovely china music box with a tune I cannot name. I can still sing the notes, and often do. When I stop and notice the tune, my mother comes to mind. I see her face, I remember her voice, I wonder about her and her life. What a wonderful bit of beauty that music box was, in our working class flat with its narrow windows and steep, dark stairway down to the street lined with wonderful maple trees that would disappear, killed by disease, in the years ahead.
That music box is gone, too. Sometimes my sister and I mention it. Where did it go? Which one of us ended its role in our lives? Where did it come from, an unusual player in the life of my mother?
And yet, that music box, with its unnamed melody, has not gone from our lives. We sing its song, its beautiful song, still.
We sing its holy song, the song that arrives from the depths, a gift to this day.
Sometimes the tune that plays in my head is from a later time in my life. I mimic Aretha Franklin, or John Lennon. My song takes on the cadence of some rock n’ roll song, and sometimes, I dance. I love to dance, and the song takes on movement, in my body, in my heart, in my house, in my life…
Every day has its theme, a theme decided in some deeper place within me, the place from which the melodies arise. I am grateful for these songs; in earlier years, when work and schedules and calendars and meeting the needs of others – and the anxiety of meeting those needs – was so important in my life, I awoke many days without a song in my heart. Did the songs go underground? Were the songs like plants and animals that disappear in the winter? Is this time of life a spring-time?
What is the melody for this time of life?