Friday, August 17, 2012

Songs of the Seasons
It’s amazing to me how much music can evoke emotion within us.  There is something magical floating amidst the words and melodies that tugs on our heartstrings.  Sometimes the feelings are happy, sometimes they are sad, and sometimes they are simply reminiscent.  We come to form associations between certain songs and a particular person, place, or time in our lives.  Over time, these songs become part of us, part of the stories that shape our lives, and part of the memories we hold closest to our hearts.

I was very young when I realized the power of music on my emotions.  I still remember some of the songs I would hear on the radio as I sat in the back seat of the car looking out the window at the busy freeway on the way to grandma’s house.  That was in the mid-80s.  A few years later when our new house was being built, the popular songs of the time would be blasting from the workers’ radios while my family and I walked through the framework of what would soon be our home.  When I hear those songs today, I can feel the heat of that summer on my skin and almost smell the sawdust and freshly laid cement in our new basement.  I was only six years old.

The songs of the nineties represent many different seasons of my life. Some songs take me back to the early nineties when my brother and I would roller-skate in our basement with rock-songs playing on the radio.  Others remind me of school and summer vacations, friends and crushes.  Still others make me think about the Saturdays my mom and I would go shopping together or when my brother got his driver’s license and I’d ride with him learning the sounds of groups such as Boston, Pearl Jam, Live, Metallica, and weird heavy metal stuff for which I had no affinity.

The beginning of the new millennium was a time when I was big into Country music.  The songs I listened to take me back to my line-dancing days and the hours I spent at the grungy, smoke-filled bar dancing away until the wee hours of the morning.  I am reminded of the first concert I ever attended, where Kenny Chesney opened for Tim McGraw.  A few years later in 2003, I met a man.  He liked me enough to go line dancing with me, and the rest is history.  We both loved country music, and created “our songs” from the Top-20 list that was continually playing on the radio.  I can still feel the rush of excitement from sitting next to this guy I was incredibly smitten with while we drove around singing along to Rascal Flatts or Chris Cagle or George Strait.  But country music wasn’t all we listened to, and it turned out that we both had similar taste in almost all music.  He even got me to branch out and start listening to R&B and rap.  We have had some fun times listening to the crazy things these artists sing about!

In the past few years, music has created more emotion within me than ever before.  When Randall is deployed I find that certain songs speak to me, helping me to get by just a little bit longer.  I have been inspired to keep pushing forward and to think about the things which are good rather than the negatives.  Every so often, Randall will tell me of a song that reminds him of me and every time I hear it, it comforts me to know how he feels.  Certain songs remind me of the good times we have made together as a family and how much we have grown over the years. 

Right now, as we are adjusting to our new home, I am struggling to feel settled.  Everything is new and it has been hard for me to feel like I belong.  After living in North Carolina for so long, I had become part of the community.  I was known not only among fellow military families but in the civilian community as well.  The cashiers at the stores knew my face, some even knew my name.  I was known as Keira and Clay’s mom at their school.  I had made friends all around my neighborhood and beyond.  As much as Randall was deployed, I learned how the people and places in the area worked, figured out where places were, and learned short cuts in getting there.  Now, I am starting all over again.  The music I play to calm my mind only teases me, reminding me of all of those things I am missing.  The memories make me smile, but the desire to return to those times, to return to the place where those memories were created, dampens my spirits.  I keep reminding myself to have patience, that it has only been a few weeks.  One thing I have learned being a military wife is that transitions take time.  Eventually, I hope, there will be songs that remind me of this place when I hear them.  I hope to be reminded of the fun times we have created here and to see this season of my life as yet another one filled with great memories. 

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