Birthday Reflections

Every year on my birthday, I like to spend some time reflecting on my life and who I am as a person.  Have I changed?  Have I stayed the same?  Often, the answer is both.

Today, I am feeling extremely grateful for the gift of life.  What an amazing thing, to be alive – to see beauty and experience suffering, to see yourself and the world around you change with each passing year.

I am grateful to my parents for bringing me into the world and caring for me.  I am grateful to the divine power that breathes life into all living beings.  And, on this day of my birth, I am grateful for who I am.  I am silly, sensitive, sad, tender-hearted, empathetic, harmony-seeking, fun-loving, introverted, anxious, creative, zany, and many other things.  But, if I had to pick one single thing that I feel defines me as a person, it would undoubtedly be the communion I feel with Mother Nature.  It is the one thing that makes me feel completely whole as a person, and for this, I feel truly blessed.

I have had such a wonderful birthday, just walking and relaxing with the one I love.  I can’t think of any better birthday gift!

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Song of the Spring

I have been thinking a lot about the power of music lately.  I don’t know if there is anything else that has such an ability to evoke such a breadth of emotion – tapping into memories long since forgotten and touching the very essence of our selves, our souls.  Music moves us as nothing else can.

I notice this a lot when Rob and I perform at nursing homes and senior facilities.  I see the joy and recognition in the faces weathered by time.  Sometimes, the residents are not able to respond, but you can see subtle hints – a glint in their eye, or their lips mouthing out the words.  In those moments, I feel part of something bigger and blessed to be able to share the gift of music.

I’ve been looking to music as a therapeutic resource more in my own life as well.  In the world of chronic illness, I think it can be easy to focus on modalities to heal the body, while forgetting about the equally important emotional aspect of healing.  Of course, everyone is different, so what works for some, won’t work for others (which can be true for both physical and emotional healing).

Personally, I’ve really been enjoying exploring music on a therapeutic level.  There is music that, simply said, makes me feel better.  And there is music that makes me feel worse.

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I’ve also been paying more attention to the music in nature.

A couple of days ago, on a mild, damp evening, I heard a chorus of peepers in the distance.  I walked up the hill behind the house and through the woods until I found the source of their exuberant cacophony.  And then I stopped, stood still, and listened as hundreds of tiny voices rose around me.  I focused on hearing the variety of tones and tried to align myself with their rhythm.  Other sounds around me became part of the symphony – droplets of moisture falling from bare branches, a warm, humid breeze brushing past me like a memory that I can’t quite recall.

As I stood and listened, a trance-like state came over me, and I felt the bad feelings inside me flush out and become replaced by a calm, gentle, greater wisdom.

Now that the warmer weather is here, there appears to be ample opportunity to listen to the Song of the Spring. Today, I have been rejoicing in the bird calls around the house (particularly the pheobes who are nesting on the side of the house) and the reassuring rush of the Millers River.

What music speaks to you?  I’d be curious to know!

Just for fun, here’s a song that I listened to the other day that brought me joy.  It’s fitting for the season too! 🙂