Sometimes a song reaches out and captures your thoughts in a way that you can only wish you had expressed yourself. There are songs with lyrics that resonate so clearly that you find yourself shouting, “Yes!” when you hear them.
Sometimes a song explains feelings and thoughts that you didn’t even realize you were having. A song like that taps you on the shoulder and says, “This is why you dream.”
I found a song like that last September. My sons invited me to come to a music festival in North Adams, Mass. The “FreshGrass” Musical festival features folk and bluegrass music performed on the grounds of a Mass Museum of Contemporary Art. I went out, not sure of what to expect. I hadn’t heard of most of the performers, but I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my boys.
On the first morning of the festival, about an hour after I had arrived, I was sitting in the courtyard of the museum as a band performed. It was hot, sunny, beautiful outside. The music was melodic and sweet. I was alone, waiting for the boys. A beautiful young woman came walking through the crowd, carrying her baby girl in a silky wrap. The woman was slim, her head held proudly. She had gorgeous dark brown skin, big dark eyes and soft curly hair in a white band. She wore huge mother of pearl hoops in her ears. She caught my eye because of her beauty and her graceful walk, but also because my daughter had the very same wrap to carry her little daughter, and I was a new grandmother entranced by every baby. The little girl was the image of her mother, right down to the soft curls, except that her hair was a golden red instead of black, and her big eyes were sea green. I met the eyes of the mother, and we traded a smile. “Beautiful baby”, I mouthed, and the beautiful mother grinned, showing adorable dimples on both cheeks. “Thank you”, she mouthed back.
She passed into the crowd and I settled back to listen to the music. I was profoundly glad that I had come to the festival right then. I love those little “connection” moments.
About an hour went by, and the second band was ready to play. I was with my son, Tim, standing in the crowd, feeling the hot sun on my face. The band took the stage. “Birds of Chicago“, the sign on the stage read. The lead guitarist was a tall, thin young man with red curly hair. The singer? Well, the singer was my beautiful young Mom, in her mother of pearl earrings. The same big eyes, the same amazing smile, and the voice of an angel.
As soon as the music began, and I heard them sing, I was pretty much in love.
Wow! I’m 59 years old; its been a long time since I found a band that caught both my ear and my heart the way that this one did!
I loved the set, I loved the whole festival. There were moments of hilarity involving a whiskey flask disguised as a tube of sun screen, moments of joy as we all danced in the light of the setting sun, moments of delight when some small band lit up the night.
I had a great weekend, and I came home happy.
And in love with Birds of Chicago.
So I bought their music and started to listen to my favorite tracks. One in particular grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go. It’s called “Flying Dreams”.
The idea of the song is this, “I wish you flying dreams; I don’t wish you wings. Cuz if you grow those things, they’re everything. There’s no more dreams. There’s only silence in the night.”
How cool is that? How perfect? How exactly does it sum up what so many of us think?
“I don’t want the answer to my dream; I want the dream itself!”
For me, this song really encompasses what I wish for my children, and for my students, and for my granddaughter. It makes me think of the smiling little curly haired girl.
How wonderful it is to have dreams, to dream of flying, to dream of soaring, to dream of rising to the most incredible heights. So much more powerful than it would be to have real wings, and to come to the end of those dreams.
I wrote this blog tonight thinking of my sons, who are still dreaming. I wrote it thinking of Ellie, my granddaughter, who hasn’t yet learned to dream.
And I wrote it thinking of Tric, the author of the WordPress Blog “My Thoughts on a Page”. Her son has just embarked on an educational adventure, and is chasing his own dreams. I hope that his mom finds comfort in this beautiful song.
Happy New Year to all of you. I do wish you all “flying dreams” to lead you with joy into 2016.
Watch this video; see if I’m right about this!