Music has woven itself into the fabric of our society. At times it moves us to tears. At others, it makes us smile, always capable of taking us through the whole gambit of emotions. It can connect us to our moods and get us in touch with everything we feel at a given moment. Music can motivate, educate, and help us express ourselves. Music makes connections and can act as a conduit for our feelings. For me, music is an integral part of what makes us, well, us.
I grew up in a music-loving household. My father always had songs from the 50s and 60s blaring on the radio as we drove around town. We’d sing along and tap our feet as musicians such as Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Johnny Cash belted out lyrics over the radio waves. We listened to everything from vinyl records to 8-tracks and cassettes to CDs. My mother is also a music lover, exposing us at an early age to musical theater, concerts, and time singing in a choir. I would sit in awe while I watched actors belt out songs from productions such as ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘South Pacific,’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ Then I would sing these songs repeatedly on the car ride home.
I had a brief stint in music, playing in the elementary school band with trumpet and trombone as my chosen instrument. However, my interest in band music had waned by middle school. Also, I had determined that marching while playing wasn’t as easy as it looked.
Still, despite giving up on the school band, music didn’t exit my life. One of the best gifts I received one Christmas was a brand-new CD player! My first CD was the greatest hits of Disney productions, such as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Boy, could I belt out those songs! I knew the lyrics all by heart and probably could still sing along if they happened to play on the radio, despite it being years later. My tastes in music changed as I entered my moody teenage years filled with emotions and angst. Music of the 80s and 90s (yup, I’m dating myself) blared in my room and helped me get through the rough patches of that time. Rejections from crushes, mean words from bullies, and friendship drama could all be wiped away while listening to my favorite band’s lyrics about life.
Music has followed me throughout the stages of life. In college, we went to dozens of rock concerts, reveling in the crowd and the loud bass that vibrated throughout our bodies so we could hear and feel the music. Music on my wedding day for slow dancing with my newly betrothed, with my father as tears filled our eyes, or boisterous group dances where my grandfather led the conga line.
Music became a constant in our lives when my son was born. I danced with him in the wee hours of the morning, trying to get him to fall asleep, and while we played with blocks on the rug. Those 90s ballads were replaced by the alphabet song and catchy ditties about eating your vegetables. As my son grew and entered his teenage years, he started developing his musical taste. He’s a classically trained violinist and pianist but also a self-proclaimed metal head, enjoying metalcore music. He has introduced me to genres of music I never thought I would enjoy, but it turns out I do! Music has become something we can share and connect with, and for that, I am grateful.
So, with music being there throughout my life like an old friend, it naturally follows me into the garden. It is rare to see me without my AirPods while puttering around the farm and doing my gardening tasks. And on those rare occasions I don’t, I’m most likely listening to nature’s soundtrack of the breeze blowing, birds singing, and bees buzzing. Mother Nature is a fantastic composer! And if I fear losing my phone or AirPods into the soil or watering can while I’m planting, there is no shortage of lyrics in my head that I can happily hum while I work.
Why do I surround myself with music? Because music motivates and inspires me. Whether it’s the soothing sounds of my ol’ pals Mozart and Beethoven bringing inspiration while making arrangements or something more upbeat to motivate me while planting seemingly endless trays of seedlings. Whether sowing seeds, weeding, harvesting, or arranging, music moves me. And it turns out there are very few genres of music I don’t enjoy, as they all have something to offer. So whether it’s Mozart or Metallica, music keeps me grooving in the garden and throughout life. So, what is your garden groove?