I’m eight years old and sitting in a tiny church at the top of a mountain in West Virginia. My grandfather has just finished his sermon, and we begin the invitation hymn. No piano accompaniment. Just the shaky voices of the elderly women who make up the congregation and my grandfather’s warm baritone.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
I’m 21 years old and crowded against the stage at Exit/In in Nashville. In one hand I have one of the first beers I’ve ever (legally) bought, and my other hand waves in the air. The band is just a college cover band, but that means we know the musicians and all the lyrics. We can’t imagine that life can ever get better than it is in this moment, as we sing along.
If you want to call me baby, just go ahead now.
I’m 39 years old and sitting beside The Man in our sunroom where the stereo fills an entire wall. The Girl is on the floor, flipping through the binders of CD’s because she gets the next pick. The Boy paces the hallway — his pick, three songs ago, has sent him into a stemming ecstasy. The lights are low and The Man and I are so blissfully content.
In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet.
I’m thankful for music.