I’m not sure what to call it: this inexplicable feeling of unease, at times wafting through me unawares. I am going about my business, preparing for my daughter’s Brownie graduation, actually sewing (yes, me!) the final badges she’s received onto the veritable Brownie sash on the very last possible night – to be seen for all of 15 minutes in the briefest of ceremonies. (But the kids had fun.)
So what is this wafting sense of alarm as I am riding in the car? Or walking down the street? The birds are singing their usual chorus, I am walking to the beat, while the dog is running straight ahead. Maybe it’s something like a bad dream that wakes you up in the middle of the most perfect summer night… There is no explaining it. We can try.
But it all comes down to this: Does it really matter what fear is for? Does it really matter why we are afraid? Why we wake up in alarm, when there is no clear or present danger? Maybe it is a signal from above, or from below. Maybe it is the carrier of change in the breeze. The train coming at us, or for us, or the one we are riding on – it is all the same. Some danger can be avoided; most is just our resistance to what lies ahead. Is it a cliff? A drop-off point? Or, the point of no return? Isn’t that… a good thing?
Sometimes I am grateful for the sound of an alarm bell going off, when I really have to go. And sometimes, it is best to bang the damn thing off and go back to sleep, lulling in the morning air and that faint and tasty dream; dispelling all rumours of noise and forgotten slings and arrows. It’s time to put our swords down – our impulse to protect and defend everything. It’s time to Sing.
I find myself singing all the time lately… Not professionally, though that was extraordinarily fun to sing in front of a live audience (and get paid!). No, it is just as much fun, beyond fun – downright Joyous ! – to sing out loud in the midst of a chaotic front the world puts on. All its soldiers lined up, coffee cups stained with resistant defense against the dawn. No, this is the time to move on. Move on, my friends, move on. Join the choir of song that is sounding out loud in the morning, even if you are still luxuriating in your treetop bed of surprises. As I lay there, I think of what I am grateful for, even if I still feel a bit of distrust.
To join the day, unaware of what lies ahead, to join Life, not knowing what it or I shall bring, breeds excitement, not danger; is reason for celebration, not anxiety (or a host of other unsightly things). And maybe the pulse that beats in my heart (and in my eardrums) is not one of anxiety, but of Life itself calling me to Sing!
Mr. Percival and Babe sing! by John Frederick White
Sing! my friends, sing! Though there be clear and present danger all about, Sing! Because the world needs You, Your voice, Your calling, Your sound!
The sound only You can make.