Music eases the soul, mind

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The world slides toward darkness as I head outside to walk. Even at this late afternoon hour, the air is warm and muggy with only a slight hint of a breeze.

I turn on my music anxious to hear my new Beth Nielsen Chapman CD while I get a little exercise. Up and down I stride, turning when I reach a patch of wild bee balm growing along the road. Now my steps take me in the direction of the lake as the lyrics play in my ear.

“Sweet love coming back around this time…

Sweet love opened up my eyes…


I like this CD I think as I reach the water, seeing the last light of day reflected in the ripples. And so I walk, watching the light fade while I listen to beautiful music.

On one round the neighbor’s dogs join me. Then at the gate my cat takes up the pace until a bug catches his eye and he goes off on an adventure.

While I move and listen, thoughts swirl around, some I like, some I would like to quiet. The ones I like are about what I see in this wonderful place I call home.

They are about the deer jumping across the road in the distance ahead of me on its way to the lake, about how it seems to disappear when I reach the spot where it crossed.

I think about the hawk that flies overhead and lands in a nearby tree, blending in so well in the twilight that I can’t find it when I look up into the limbs.

Then there are the worry thoughts as I call them. One of them is my concern about my mother-in-law who is in the hospital dealing with physical pain that is her constant companion.

Another is news about a friend who is going through a rough patch, dealing with emotional pain that is with her every waking moment and follows her into restless sleep.

If I allow it, the worry thoughts take me into sadness, into a place of feeling helpless, and part of me knows that going there accomplishes nothing. Still I’m human and that is part of living I guess.

I am thinking about that as I put one foot in front of the other, wishing for the power to make the rough patches smooth, the painful times not so painful. At that moment, in the instant I wish for some light in the darkness, it appears.

Turning toward home, I see the moon rising just over the tops of the trees, piercing the growing darkness with a light too magnificent to put into words. At the same moment the CD reaches its end and for some reason the fourth song begins to play again.

As I listen, really hearing the lyrics, I know there is a way that heals sadness and eases pain, something that always brings light even when the world slides toward darkness.

“Life has taught me this

Every day is new

And if anything is true

All that matters when we’re through is how we love

“Faced with what we lack

Some things fall apart

But from the ashes new dreams start

All that matters to the heart is how we love

“How we love, how we love

With the smallest act of kindness

In a word, a smile, a touch

“In spite of our mistakes

Chances come again

If we lose or if we win

All that matters in the end is how we love

“How we love, how we love

I will not forget your kindness

When I needed it so much

“Sometimes we forget

Trying to be so strong

In this world of right and wrong

All that matters when we’re gone

All that mattered all along

All we have that carries on… is how we love.”

Beth Nielsen Chapman