Lately I’ve been remembering quiet times as a kid, with a sharp ear for what actually occupied my time. I’m realizing that my prayers, thoughts and stories were all relayed via inner music. I sang declarations of love to my God, hummed certain discordant intervals when I was scared, and then snappy tunes when happy.
During family trips in the car, I arranged the sounds and rhythms filling my head into satisfying story soundtracks. Sharing the back seat of a VW bug with my baby bro was not the most exciting of adventures. No, I take that back, we managed to stage plays between fights for space.
He was most talented at wrinkling up his face to accompany the different voices we made up for various characters. In fact, he’d do my favorite character, Blob, upon personal request. Yeah, I guess baby brothers came in handy that way.
I had a rich inner life.
And an enriching kid-life. A life filled with colors, aunts, uncles, cannoli, swimming, exploring and dissecting the stinky frogs packed in purchased science kits.
Stars, bonfires and leaves.
Museums, ice skating, tobogganing, and walks with cousins. Day camp, girl scouts.
Ma’s art lessons she gave to all the cousins, the smell of linseed oil mingled with freshly ironed cotton shirts. Growing gardens – Ma’s flowers, Dad’s tomatoes, and always a peach tree.
Baby bunnies hidden in our front yard, forts built with scraps of plywood, and music.
Ma’s opera and dorky Barn Dance albums, the old 78’s and wonderful new LP’s of musical theatre.
Dad’s jazz. Practicing alongside Coltrane, Charlie, cool blues. Crazy kid-dancing to his sax, clarinet, guitar, and cowbell.
Grandpa’s banjo and zampogna*. You Are My Sunshine sing-alongs.
Laying on my bed at night or looking up at the clouds on a warm spring day, in my quiet times, I didn’t read. I didn’t color. Well, yes, I did those. But mostly, I ‘did my music.’
Even then, ever with me, from the inside out.
My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.
~ Psalm 108:1
*more on this instrument in another post…suffice it to say, my love of goats has a family history as well!