I am thankful for music.
Music is such a big topic that volumes and volumes have been written about it. But somewhere among all the things of what it is and what it can do is a very basic truth. Music can make you happy. Here are a couple of small examples where this has been true for me recently.
I like to sing. And if I do say so myself, I have a pretty good voice. Or at least it sounds that way to me when I sing in the shower. The acoustics are especially good in our new shower, so I belt away sometimes and imagine myself performing for one sort of an audience or another. And it always makes me happy. (However these "audiences" often ask me for another song and I end up spending too long in the shower. I should learn to say no to my demanding "public".)
The other morning I was singing "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash as I washed my hair. This is a song I've always liked for its catchy tune and positive lyrics. However, like most songs, I don't know all the words. That evening, I decided it was time to learn them, so I went to YouTube. Do you know that there have been a lot of people who have covered that song? I listened to each version and sang along while I was in the kitchen baking a cake. And the whole time, I had a big smile on my face. There was really nothing very special going on, but I was very happy. However, I will say that after about the fourth version of the song, Ward asked if I had learned the lyrics yet. Actually, the answer was no. I still sing my version of them and am not sure what the correct ones are. What do they say? Old habits die hard.
The other example involves singing hymns. The first time was in the nursing home when I was visiting my mother. A local church came in and did a hymn sing-along for the residents. I sat beside my mother in her wheelchair holding the hymnal as we sang together. This was very special because as time goes on, it's harder to connect with my mother the way I used to. However, this time, we connected through the music. It was the highlight of my visit.
A week or so later, I was spending Sunday morning with my buddy, Sarah. We were with the youth Sunday School gathering where they eat breakfast, make announcements, and sing a few songs. The songs are usually accompanied by kids on guitars and drums. However, this morning most of the them weren't there, so the choir director led the youth in singing songs from the hymn book a capella. It took a song or two before the kids quieted down and stopped looking at their cell phones. But when they gave their full attention to the songs, it was beautiful. The room was filled with strong voices and good harmonies, and there was a connection among all who were there. I was teary eyed as I thought about the two very different groups singing hymns. On the surface they seemed different, but underneath, they were the same. They were connecting through music.
My stories could go on forever, and I'm sure everyone has stories of their own.
So for music and the happiness it brings, I am thankful.