Wednesday, December 18, 2013
As soon as the song starts, I am a child again, just into my teen years.
It is Christmas Eve, and we are on our way home from church. The car is icy cold with the chill of the Minnesota winter's night. Outside, the snow is brightly lit by the moon. I am tired, yet happy. It's been a good Christmas.
We sang the old familiar carols in church, and on the way home, we start singing them again. Mom is singing soprano; her voice soars. My oldest brother has learned to sing tenor, my sisters and I sing the alto part, the little kids join in for the parts they know. To my ears, the music is as heavenly as the chorus that first welcomed the Christ child.
Though the car is cold, I am warm.
I am warmed by my coat and hat and mittens.
I am warmed by the bodies of my sisters and brothers; we are tightly packed into the back of the car.
I am warmed by my full stomach.
I am warmed by the thoughts of presents waiting to be opened when we get home.
The trip to the past always leaves me with a glint of tears in my eyes; it's been long and too long since I last heard my mother sing. Yet beneath the tears, I smile - grateful still and again for the gift of music she passed on to me.
Sleep in heavenly peace...