–To change the world, we must first change ourselves.–
Harvey had to leave. He lost everything he owned. He moved out to the West Desert to live with a mountain man friend who lives in a teepee. He said he would do fine, but worried about staying warm enough and getting enough to eat in the freezing winters. I worried for him, too. I did what I could to help Harvey, examining legal documents, but it was too late. Continue reading →
In a safe environment, a child can see the world with wonder. He or she encounters the smiles and waves of a parent, loose garden soil between the toes, butterflies on flower blossoms, and being tucked into bed with a story or a lullaby. I wrote the song “Look Out the Window” after one of my children called to me from an upstairs window while I worked in the garden. She was happy to see me–“Hi Daddy!”–and raced down the stairs to join me in the garden. Every child deserves to be safe and to be loved, and to see the world with wonder. Here is the link to the sheet music to Look Out the Window.
As Angie helped each child wind down to go to sleep over the years, she would sit on the side of their bed and ask, “What was your favorite part of the day?” They would talk about watching a Monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, a picnic at the park, rollerskating, or a trip to see grandparents. That question seemed the perfect opening line of a lullaby. Walking on Rabbit Lane, I played around with a tune, and settled on beginning with my favorite interval, the octave (or perfect 8th). The melody and lyrics came as the weeks and months clocked by. This song celebrates all of the end-of-day conversations between parents and children about their special moments together. Sing it alone to your child or as a parent-child dialog, with you and your child taking turns singing portions of the song to each other as indicated in the score found at the link below. (For more on this song, see the post Chapter 24: Remembering the Day of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)
Nature’s creatures make beautiful music, especially on a Summer night, whether it be crickets or katydids, Canada Geese in formation or a clucking hen settled on her eggs, the wind in the leaves or the rain tapping on the rooftop. And lullabies comfort the sleepless, fretting child. My Hannah turns nine years old today. In honor of her birthday, I am posting her favorite of all my songs (so far), called “Summer Night,” which celebrates nature’s music in a lullaby. Sing it to your children or grandchildren, or just hum it to yourself, and let me know how you like it. Here is the link.
One Monday evening after dinner, the whole family walked on Rabbit Lane. The sun was setting large and red, and the chilly Spring air settled upon us as we returned home. We gathered around our new fire pit to tell stories, sing songs, and roast apples and marshmallows, sitting on camp chairs and logs. Continue reading →
I stopped to watch the pulsing airport beacon–my desert lighthouse–as I walked in the snow today on Rabbit Lane. White. Green. White. Green. “See that beacon?” I asked Hannah (8), whose gloved hand held mine while we gazed. “It’s like a lighthouse showing the way for ships in trouble to make for shore. Long before Hannah was born, I gazed out the window with Erin, then 5, as the old beacon bulbs swept slow arcs around the sky, lighting up the clouded underbelly of the sky. I imagined sailing ships rocking precariously amidst tumultuous waves, the sailors shouting commands and wondering how to obtain the shore in one piece. I also imagined their frightened families at home, wondering if they would ever see their fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons again. With this troubled image in mind, I wrote this one-verse song about these sailors, nearly lost in the storms, coming home at last. (Read more about this beacon in Chapter 4: Desert Lighthouse on the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)