Pure Joy by Lois Hewitt

I am in a mood today. It’s about to get real….

My youngest memory of pure joy was when my mom still lived with us. Hot, lazy summer days. She had a consul stereo, she loved music. We would listen to Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and the like. We would sing and dance. My sister even danced in her wheelchair. Then we would change to Stevie Wonder and Blood, Sweat and Tears. I wished those times would never end as we laughed the afternoon away. Life was still simple and innocent.

As life tends to do, the innocence leaves and the times become complicated. Music was not so much a source of fun any longer but a companion and a comforter. Music stayed with me in my loneliest hours. Music in those teenage years was loud and visceral to keep the inner demons out.

Then came my rebel years full of Urban Cowboy, country music, lots of beer and Jack Daniels. Smoking and two stepping were the order of the day.

Then one day a Little Red Corvette appeared on MTV and I was thrown into what was called Urban Contemporary. My view expanded from the small town I lived in. Prince amazed and thrilled me. I could not get enough.

Then came flannels, messed hair, work boots and grunge. The demons were back talking about a world on the brink. Misery filled the days.

Then the women stepped front and center. Alanis, Alicia, Lilith fair. Powerful, angry women making music to allict change and to say it was time to be heard.

I started to get tired, still unsure of who I was. Racing toward 40 and feeling in a rut. I worked for a great company and I had my own office in the back of the building with windows all around. I had a fantastic view of the woods.

I would go to work on Saturdays especially in the summer and sit in my own private domain. A place where everything was in its place and order was the word of the day.

I would play music on my computer about catching a freight train or having the Keys To The Highway. I day dreamed about a life on the road with no ties to anything. I dreamed of running away. Music was my soundtrack.

I finally did run away but the reality was nothing like I dreamed. I longed for an uncomplicated journey. I longed for the past to finally be in the past. But it alluded me as did music. I was even more lost than I had been and I had no compass to show me the way.

Then came a crazy train and a place in North Carolina. A place where I got to figure things out. Where the music I loved back in the day revisited me. I was starting to feel whole. The past took its rightful place away from the present.

Today, my skin is mostly comfortable. I know more who I am and I am good with that reality. I see with clarity all the roads I have been down. Some I took and some others took me. But they all lead to this place, a place set in 1895 that is the most comfortable with people from a different time. Yet I can relate to them.

Today music is like those first days dancing with my mom in the living room. She is no longer here but she still dances with me. I think she would have really liked Michael Buble.

Listening to a wonderful song transports one away from the hurts and pain. It clears the mind and frees the soul. Today I will experience pure joy once again. Thank you to everyone who makes music, you make the world a better place.


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