Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In the Garden

Sunday night I shut the light off and settled back in my pillow. Music drifted up the stairs from something MFD was watching.

The Avett Brothers were singing In the Garden. MFD rewound and played it a few more times. The rest of the house was silent, and we were on different floors, just listening. Not typically a lover of religious hymns, I was mesmerized.

On a cold and windy January night, it made me think of spring, of promise and wistfulness, of mouths set in grim lines, of young hands held by old hands, of darkness falling more swiftly in the mountains, of twilight, of yearning. Different things, some in opposition to each other. 

It made me think of opening my grandmom's back door to the comforting constant of the radio playing low in the kitchen. 

In late spring we'd sit at the dining room table and talk about how the lily of the valley were coming up that year in the garden. If they came up and spread, Grandmom thought that was the harbinger of a good year, and when I was older I knew we were talking about more than a good year in the garden. Today I have my own garden and a patch of lily of the valley that I have my own conversations about.

Music is a great inducer of memory. Like in Piano Man - He says, "Son can you play me a memory, I'm not really sure how it goes." It can transport me immediately to a moment or a slideshow of moments:when I first heard the song, or a time when I loved or hated it; to a big or small event where it was on in the background like a soundtrack to a moment, or to something I haven't thought of in years but was reminded of instantly.

Listening to that song Sunday night made me feel how circular time is, like everywhere I am in the present, a small piece of me has been there before with someone else in a different time and place. Is that weird? Maybe. But I like to think that is the case, so that everything and everyone that has gone before is always a part of me and my layers of memory.

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Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

28 comments:

  1. There are times when a song will just sit with me and conjure up feelings or memories and that is the sign of a good song. Now if only it would bring Spring I would listen to it a 1,000 times.

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  2. What a beautiful song! The perfect background for what you wrote. I agree, music is such a powerful inducer or memory. Sometime even things you thought you forgot come back when you hear a piece of music. The brain is so amazing that way.

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  3. makes me think of my great granny Sugar! she loved those hymns.

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  4. I've never heard that song before - thanks for sharing it! Amazing how music can just take us back to great memories...or not so great ones sometimes!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  5. This was beautifully written Steph- thanks for sharing your memory! I agree that songs can definitely take me back to an event or feeling.

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  6. Oh gosh I really love this song. I just love when music speaks to our soul.

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  7. I love that effect of music. I love hearing a song and being transported back to when I first heard it or when I played it over and over because it meant something to me. Beautiful post!

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  8. This is a beautiful post - such great thoughts.

    Music is so much more than chords and lyrics - Music is also like a time machine.

    I really loved this post.

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  9. Some of the most emotional moments of my life are centered around music. Music has the power to transform us, to recall memories (good or bad) and to inspire us. I love this version from the Avett Bros. :)

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  10. this post is beautiful, the imagery just popping right off the page.

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  11. Music is to me what paintings are photographs are to others. Songs stir up vivid images, memories, conversations, smells, terrible wardrobe choices...everything. It's nice, having a soundtrack to my life.

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  12. I love this post. I really love this post.

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  13. We didn't have a garden, we was po' Lol :) Nice track love, always good to reminisce.. Happy Hump Day Steph! -Iva

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  14. I love this! Music is magical! And you know I believe we were here before, too! I love the lily of the valley! Grandmom's were the best! Pop and his garden are special to me!!! I adore this blog!! Just wonderful.
    Love, Your Momma.

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  15. That's me with John Denver. If I hear a John Denver song it instantly reminds me of my mom spring cleaning the house with all the windows open.

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  16. Music triggers memories for me occasionally. Something that rarely fails to do so is puzzles. Which is kind of strange. But putting together a puzzles leaves your brain pretty free to do other things, and frequently someone else will be watching a show, or I'll talk to someone while I assemble, and then the next time I put it together, I remember where I was and what was going on around me. It's a nice feeling.

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  17. I am going to have to make a note to come back and listen to this song when I get home and see if I have heard it before or not. I am certainly one to get caught up in memories with certain songs for sure! It is both beautiful and amazing.

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  18. So beautifully written. You have such a gift and talent with words. I agree 100% with you. Music speaks to my soul. I can listen to any song and it takes me back to a certain place and time. That is why we rarely turn on the TV and constantly have music playing in our home. TV shows come and go, but music will always hold memories and tell stories of our lives.

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  19. That is one of the songs my dad used to sing at church, so it is very special to me. I have a 30 minute commute to work every day, and spend that time listening to favorite songs and enjoying the memories they bring. Music has always been a huge part of my life, much more so than tv. I love this post, wonderfully written as always!

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  20. Yes, music is fabulous. It really helps me to ignore the pain when I'm going on my walks.

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  21. I love this post. It explains the exact reason that I love music so much. My favorite song is "Springsteen" by Eric Church & there is a line in there that I loved so much that I got it at a tattoo a couple of years ago. "Funny how a melody sounds like a memory"

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  22. Music and songs play such an important role in my day to day life. One of my fondest memories of late was hearing Dave sing row your boat on a ukulele while I was cleaning the kitchen. Every time I heard him sing "life is but a dream" I couldn't help but feel like that was the perfect quote for the moment we were having, it was a good moment, reminding me of a great life I have. Great post, thank you for sharing!

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  23. I love, love, love, love, love this song. I had no idea the Avett Brothers had done this version! {I also LOVE Alan Jackson's version.} Traditional hymns are so soulful and deep to me. Contemporary Christian does nothing for me at all. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  24. I've been listening to the Avetts all day so reading your post just now is so fitting. I feel like my high school and college years were more marked with music memories than my adult life; I should fix that. There should be more music in my house.

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  25. Such a lovely post and that was a lovely rendition :)

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  26. I love this post! I completely agree that music can bring you back to certain moments in your life. It doesn't even have to be a significant event. For example, I can't listen to any song on the album Antics by Interpol without immediately being transported to my small college town. I remember walking along the streets and exploring the far reaches of the town alone with my iPod (and that album, of course). Although it's not a major life event, it's something I vividly remember because it's so deeply connected to those songs. This is just one of the many reasons why I love music so much.

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  27. What a lovely post! It's not weird at all. Music is so powerful. Some of my most precious memories have a "theme song". A song that immediately transports me to a particular moment, and makes me feel as if I were there once more.

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  28. This reminds me of scent memory... how you can smell something and be instantly transported back to the moment when you first smelled it, or when the smell stuck out to you. There have been songs that I didn't even like at first, that I eventually liked just BECAUSE of a memory that went along with it.

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