img_20190416_080729.jpgWhile waiting in my car for my daughter-n-law to emerge from Kroger’s with her shopping cart, I lifted my head from my book at the sound of whistling. A man with a single bag of groceries swinging from his hand walked across the parking lot under the clear blue sky of a perfect spring morning, whistling a clear and perfect tune. The notes hung in the air, outside of time, creating a clear and perfect moment.

That same evening, as I parked my car in another large parking lot, I was surprised by the sound of a recorder weaving under and over the soft buzz of a light rain. A woman sat under the canopy in front of Barnes & Noble, a music book open on the bench in front of her. She wasn’t as accomplished as the morning’s whistler. Her notes were sometimes sour and the tune was hard to follow. It sounded to my ears as if she were trying the music for the first time. Still — there she was! playing a recorder in front of the book store in the rain.

Could these be the first signs of societal transfiguration, I wondered. If so, what could be next? My neighbor singing along to golden oldies on the radio while he weeds his peas?

Maybe the dog walkers and stroller pushers will leave their phones at home and sing a happy song as they walk down the street past my house. Maybe they will all walk together and sing rounds. The babies will laugh and clap along. The dogs will prance.

Maybe — instead of the harsh racket of lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws — the birdsong of a summer’s day will be over laid with with happy sounds of neighbors on their patios and porches laughing and strumming guitars and dancing to fiddle music. 

What is life for anyway? ear protection, weed killer and uniformly green lawns? or joviality, music and meadows?

My contribution toward this coming transformation? I practice piano with the windows open.

So pull out your trombone or accordion. Pick up your drum sticks or bagpipes. Polish up your flute. Warble with the mocking bird. Be the change I’d like to hear.


8 thoughts on “Music in the air

  1. Thanks, Julia.
    A lady let me cut in front of her in the line at Walmart the other day!
    Also watched a Russian documentary the other day. The Russian city and people look so much like American cities and people that it prompted Becky to say that it looked like we were watching an American documentary. Made me wonder, what’s the difference? What divides us? Like the Sting lyrics, “… Russian’s love their children too.”
    Hopefully, people are waking up!


  2. As usual, what you’ve written made me happy. As you know, James’ stroke left him mostly speechless (but getting better). I was visiting him one evening when he was still in the hospital and I began singing Happy Birthday to myself. He joined right in and even added the “…and many more….” We often reach out to each other by singing any stupid thing that comes to mind. It’s not pretty but there is a lot of music in the air around here.


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