The days are getting noticeably shorter; the darkness creeping in. Lately, I have been thinking about how to make it through another long winter. Only this one will be different and will likely be more difficult as we undoubtedly have to take cover from this dreaded virus, yet again. If you are like me, the lack of sun impacts my mood and energy level and so I have to do everything and anything to manage and I think it’s getting worse every year. How do we plan to remain steadfast with the promise of a warm winter vacation, dashed? What do I need to do so that I don’t slide down the hill into that sunken ship of emotions, deeply entrenched into the darkness of the ocean floor? Music.

Music for singing, music for dancing, music for breathing. It has been a part of my life since I was very young and has given me a profound appreciation of good music. The genre doesn’t matter – if you like it and can feel it, it’s good. One of the most fun things I did with the kids when they were little was to have spontaneous kitchen dance parties. Whether it was the latest pop chartbuster, a classic or something they’d never heard, they were equally enthusiastic. There is just something about beat and rhythm combined with a melody that draws you in and when you find a song that fits you, it hugs you and envelopes you like a fluffy duvet on a crisp winter morning.

I can’t listen to podcasts or audio books; I simply do not have the attention span or focus to sustain my interest and understand the content, but I could listen to music for hours. I recently had to drive to Ottawa and back in a day and the best way to pass the time was to make a playlist; one that had songs that I could sing to all the way there and back. When I went through my favourited songs that I had put into this playlist, it was 19 hours long! Culling it was difficult, but I got it down to 12 hours – the rest was non-negotiable. Classic rock, pop and ‘80s music and, if you know me, 2/3 of it was probably Blue Rodeo. It’s my go to playlist and I know all the words to almost every song. That always amazes me too: how the brain recalls the words to all of those songs, yet I have to work to recall the details of a document I just read.

Those melodies, those lyrics, that have paved the winding road that has been a life lived from joy to despair and back again, are the soundtrack to the good, the bad and the ugly. From dancing to Lost Together at our wedding to singing I’m Like a Bird to a baby Sam, to walking down the church aisle to Shut Up and Dance after Andrew’s goodbye, the power of music evokes emotions from every cell. It can bring memories of all kinds to the surface.

Aside from my vitamin D supplement, I think it’s time to invoke a new kitchen dance party practice, often. There are two little people in this house who love music too and I think it’s time I bring them into the fold. The joy of the notes will fuel my soul and push me through the long days ahead.

What’s your favourite music? Comment below so others can share your joy.

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