Sunday, December 20, 2009


Yesterday morning I was fighting depression…’tis the season you know! And a pity party seemed inevitable. You must know about these. We all have them once in a while. And as usual, I tried to tell myself to get up and get on with the business of living. For me being alone during this time of year is unpleasant at best. So I try to fill my days and hours with giving, giving of myself, my dogs, my talents to others. This helps.

Later this particular morning a switch was flipped inside somewhere. It was as simple as touching the cheek of a little baby with my index finger. She was wearing a shiny spangley pink Santa hat with a white pompom dangling over one eye. With a background of a choir singing Christmas hymns to our wounded soldiers, eating breakfast under the watchful eye of volunteer Saturday morning cooks at the Warrior Family Support Center at BAMC (Brook Army Medical Center,) I watched the baby’s little eyes sparkle on the eve of her first Christmas. I felt the satin in her cheeks. I felt an enormous promise of potential, of love, of life, of failures and successes and broken hearts and giving and taking. But mostly I heard the music.

Kelsie and I made our way across the huge living area to see the source of this inspiration and sensual pleasure. We found the choir gathered just inside the dining area off of the kitchen. They seemed to be unnoticed, except by the children. A soldier sat ostensibly mesmerized by the songs, no doubt a bit of culture shock, having just returned a couple of weeks earlier from a war zone in the desert in a land far away. As he watched the choir, he also watched his toddler. This little girl, still in diapers, was dancing and twirling and clapping, all by herself in the middle of the floor. As they began singing Silent Night, she tried to dance faster and faster, urging the choir to sing another more joyous song. But no matter, she danced to her own music, still twirling and bouncing with hands and arms flailing in the air. I recalled Friedrich Nietzsche's quote, "Without music life would be a mistake."

I returned focus to Kelsie to find she was surrounded by no less than five children sitting and petting her most respectfully. If one could not reach her, the other would shift positions making it a little easier for them to get to her. You need to understand that these soldier’s children belong to all the soldiers. The wives take care of other wives children and the children take care of the younger ones belonging to other families. It is a comradeship like none other I have ever seen. If one had what was perceived as too much time with Kelsie, another would respectfully indicate they needed to share. What lessons to be learned. Taking care of one another! A simple concept, but oh so often forgotten.

So this Christmas let go of the pity party and become a child again. There are a lot of people out there that need someone to care about them, love them, and let them know they have not been forgotten. For after all, isn’t that what we all need? Someone to love us, care for us and help us fly when we have forgotten how.

I hope you twirl and clap and let the music reach and repair your emotions. This Christmas, I hope you dance!
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.”
~Laura Ingalls Wilder~
"In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain."
~George Szell~
"Music finds its way where the rays of the sun cannot penetrate."
~Soren Kierkegaard~

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