I came across this, this evening:
I loved it instantly and thought of two recent experiences.
I’ve been making runs out to the farmhouse as I get closer to move there – taking things like my art and other treasured belongings, and just spending time in the house (sometimes alone), as confirmation about the fact that I WANT to live there. My Mom warned me that the birds would wake me up around 5am if I left the windows open when I went to bed.
She wasn’t wrong – I left the windows open and heard the birds greeting the dawn. The crazy thing is that it didn’t bother me. It didn’t upset me. Instead, I felt a small smile form on my lips, my eyes still closed. Then I rolled over, and slept peacefully until I was ready to wake up.
I’m NOT a morning person, and sometimes I think of myself as not particularly outdoorsy. Yet, hearing the joyful song of the birds as light began to bloom again in that corner of the world brought me joy and peace, that I could not have imagined.
The other experience was a more difficult one. A dear friend’s (really, a chosen sister’s) mother is dying in palliative care. We visited her together in hospital . Visiting the dying is not one of my particular gifts. But I’ve always said that if a friend asked for something, and it was in my power to grant, the answer would always yes.
So we went. I prayed, and held her mother’s hand. And after a bit, I asked if it would be ok if I sang to her a bit. My friend told me to go for it. So I sang – just a couple of choruses, just some simple songs of our shared faith. And I don’t know – I can’t know – if her mother heard me. But I know I felt better singing over her.
Yes, we sing – like the birds – to say that we are still here, we made it. But I also think we sing to find our way through the darkness and the unknown. (The Australian Indigenous people have songs they sing to find their way through the barren outback. I’ve always loved that thought about why we sing – to find our way through the wilderness.)
So sing, friends. Whether you have a a “good” voice or not – sing. Sing because you are still here, sing to find your way through, sing to reach deep into your soul and find strength you didn’t know you had.
In your car. In your shower. With an audience or without. And if you can manage it, find opportunities to sing with a group of other people – at a church service, at a choir practice, at a concert or as part of the crowd at a sporting event.
I promise it will be good for your soul.