“He who sings scares away his woes.” –– Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Each day I take a stroll past a small home in my neighborhood. On the porch of this place is a cage where a small cockatiel makes her own little home. Covered by a maroon blanket faded and worn by the sun and years of use, she sits on her perch. Her name is Lola and she is quiet until she spies me coming down the street towards her, over the years our relationship has grown stronger as we know one another through song. I stop to speak to her, to sing with her. In a short period of time we’ve established several simple, one line musical patterns that have become our call and response.
As I approach her I begin our call. Sometimes she sees me coming and begins the call before me. When I forget the exact tempo or muff a note, she reminds me immediately of the correct tune. Some days she runs up and down her perch, turning her head, bowing to me in excitement. At other times she is more quiet, sleeping or maybe just not feeling like talking that day. That’s ok, we all feel like that from time to time. Regardless of her mood, I look forward to seeing her each day.
Having a common language, singing a special song to one another is a reminder of a language not of words but of a common sound, our shared experience. For those of us who have taken a walk down the cancer road there is also a common song. Each tune is unique to who we are, it is our own song. However, there are familiar notes we share and singing with each other, to each other and for each other brings us together in a place beyond culture, class, race or gender. Singing out to one another when we are in pain or when we are sad or when we find happiness and joy connects and supports us as we trek along through cancer and beyond.
Wishing you melody today …