I love car rides. I love the scenery. I love the sharing of stories and/or memories. I love the bonding (though not the screaming) that happens as a family or with friends. And I most definitely love the music.
These past few days I have spent quite a bit more time in the car than usual. Be it taking Maggie to school or picking her up, driving Ellie to piano lesson, picking my mom up from the airport (Yeah! She is here for a visit) and our trips to the doctor and various pharmacies to find the right flavor liquid Benadryl or topical ointment to battle the poison ivy itch of our youngest. To help the time pass and to liven up the errands, we turned the radio on and up. And while the music filled our car and the streets as whipped by, my mind was also filled. Filled with lots and lots of memories of days gone by.
Thoughts of middle school band days at Melvin H. Kreps flooded my head as I heard “Eye of the Tiger.” Thoughts of the summer between my junior and senior year felt like yesterday when I heard “Make Me Lose Control”. A series of songs by Chicago, making me think of past boyfriends. There must have been a 80’s marathon because soon I heard, “Lady in Red” and immediately remembered my good friend Becky (who now goes by Rebecca) and her red dress at prom. The songs brought newer memories too. When I heard “Land Down Under” I couldn’t help but see in my mind’s eye Eric and his friend playing their guitars and singing at the GEDCO annual meeting a few months ago.
Music is like that isn’t it? It gives us something to hang or attach a memory to. (Like the smell of honeysuckle makes me think of my favorite neighbor, Betty, growing up). It’s amazing how just a few notes, can make you feel and re-experience (I might even dare to say, something as deeply or more deeply than when it first happened) that memory.
Music memories can also bring you to tears, which almost always happens when I sing “Be Thou My Vision”, as it was one of the songs I chose for my father’s funeral. And yet, it is also a song of comfort. For it serves as a reminder, a deep reminder of how much I miss him deep inside although my voice doesn’t mutters his name aloud. And it serves as comfort, as I sing these words,
“Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word; I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord: Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.”
So this weekend, as you flip through your iPod, channel surf the stations in your car, or maybe even sing hymns at church, stop, listen, recognize, acknowledge and give thanks to God for what arises from you when you hear those first few familiar notes or chord. For it is a gift from God.