Let the Music Play on (play on, play on): trying not to fastforward through life

goat singingMy morning hikes are filled with music. My iPod sings my favorite songs to me the entire loop of Jim Green Trail. Everything from James Taylor to Janelle Monae. I tend to be moody about what music I’m into on any given day, so I often fastforward through songs I don’t believe are speaking to me or have the right energy for that day’s walk. I hear the opening few notes, nix it and tap the arrow to move ahead to something more acceptable. It’s mine to control, so why should I have to suffer tunes that aren’t floating my boat?

Early in this morning’s hike I caught myself clicking through a string of Beatles songs. As each began I hurried them along to something else, impatient to find that diddy that sang to my heart and my soul perfectly in that very moment. I noticed because they are all songs I adore and my resistance seemed unusual. Still, I kept clicking. Four or five songs in, the perfect one still foiling me, I stopped. I let that song sing, and the next, and then I surrendered to the iPod. I decided that whatever came up for the rest of the walk I would let it play in its entirety and, in its own time, move on.

Just for fun, click here for a little Lionel Richie inspiration. Don’t forget to let the music play on, play on, play on…

Song after song played as a perfect reaction to the thoughts and memories floating through my morning self, and I laughed at the perfection of it all. As I recalled wake-up time with my son, Sting sang Something The Boy Said. As I emerged from a more wooded area to an opening near the golf course, The Beatles announced it with Here Comes the Sun. I looked at the dusty, drought-weary trail and sent out a wish for rain just as Jarle Bernhoft began Ever Since I Was a Little Kid, and suddenly I was transported to the loop trail of Seattle’s Discovery Park where I used to hike all winter through the mud and a steady drizzle and listened to that then-recent purchase.

I let the water refresh me as I watched two squirrels race up one mossy California Oak, jump across to the next and titter down its twisted trunk, taunting each other for their own squirrel-ish reasons. I took my headphones off and the rising breeze through the tree grove serenaded me as I rounded the final bend of the trail. The orchestrated bleats from the goat farm across the pasture accompanied the last few steps to my car.

I sat quietly, the iPod already on the passenger seat, as I contemplated my day. This friendly but firm reminder was so simple, and if I hadn’t let it play out, I would have missed it entirely. I drove toward home and whatever the day held, knowing I wouldn’t fastforward through those tasks I thought weren’t important or people I didn’t care to interact with. Each one arrives as a perfectly timed opportunity, an experience, a healing, a lesson that is lost if I don’t accept it with gratitude and allow it to play out naturally. If I give up control and relax into the gifts offered, the music all around me rises in a grand crescendo of energy and love that can carry me anywhere. My day, my life, is exactly how it’s supposed to be. It is beautiful music.