“My life goes on in endless song…how can I keep from singing?”

I don’t remember much from my 5th grade band class. I have vague flashbacks of plucking away at the stand-up bass next to my best friend, Liza, and thinking I looked a heart for a cause he believed wholeheartedly in, why couldn’t I give myself some grace?

Later that night, I took a walk alone. I sat on the edge of the main field for a while, looking up at the sky with my mouth hanging open in awe. The heat lightening continued to light up the sky sporadically, illuminating patterns of lightning and cloud shadows as it flashed. The rain pounded. I heard laughter coming from the gym as the Seniors spent their final night in the company of one other. Crickets chirped. Bats swept through the air. And then I remembered that time in 5th grade band class when our teacher, Miss Genevieve, told us to close our eyes. “Close your eyes and listen,” she told us.” “First, listen to sounds in this room. What do you hear? Next, listen for sounds outside. Can you hear anything?” The room was silent in concentration. I could almost hear my eyes squinting harder as I listened.” “Now,” she whispered, “I want you all to listen as far as you can. Try to listen for sounds beyond the classroom. For sounds down the road. For sounds a mile away. What is the farthest sound you can hear?” It was as if I have never heard anything before. I turned off sounds in the room and sounds outside and I listened, really listened for sounds far away. I heard kids screaming down the street from our school. I heard a car honk in the distance. I heard leaves from a tree rustle in the wind. It was, perhaps, the holiest moment of my adolescence and as I sat on the field at Camp Chandler in Wetumpka, Alabama, I tried to mimic that moment. I sat for a long time listening as far as I could. Then I prayed. A whisper of a prayer. A quietly muttered “thank you” that became a string of pleas that became a look of wonder that became…

And finally, I wrote in my journal the next morning about the night before, as I walked back to my cabin singing “It is well with my soul” with the crickets chirping and the rain falling I realized it was all-all of it-a song. God’s song.”

God’s song is filled with a myriad of melodies that she composes herself. Insect chirps the staccato notes. Children’s laughter the crescendo at the climax of a song. Thunder a loud rumble of percussion. And for the grand finale of the song, if we pause to listen as far as we can, we hear the whispered “thank you” by a mere reveler to the maestro herself.

Be well,

Margie Quinn

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