I learned to sing in the fields where raspberries grow and coyotes outrun cars. It is there where I learned to bandage my wounds and defeat those who tried to outrun me. I stood in a choir for years and it felt less like a place for singing birds and more like a place for sleeping crickets. I am not writing to say there is anything wrong with singing in a choir, but there is also nothing wrong with singing where the prairie meets the coulee or in the shower or to the baby who sleeps at your breast. Somewhere along the trail, for many of us, we meet at the crossroads of a society that tells us to quit singing and try our best to fit into a different box. If we were birds, sparrows would be asked for a chickadee's song and in doing so, the song of the sparrow would be thrown into the canyon. If we were trees, the evergreen would be asked for the oak's bark and in doing so, there would be no trees to fill the mountainside.
I believe singing should be an everyday activity - much like cooking your breakfast or reading a book, it exists to retrieve the sleeping parts inside of us all and to turn those parts into a wide-eyed life. If you took away my mother dancing as she vacuumed the house or silenced her from singing to her babies, I would have been born into a much smaller world. I am here and I am who I am because of her always letting the music within her come out. She sang and danced like the sun was always golden and the fields were made of music.
So, today as the clouds white as cotton float by and the hours of the day bring me closer to a beginning or an end, I will sing at least once. I will sing, not because I am being told to or because I have a song for others, but because it makes my heart grow in size. Whether the music within me is that of a magpie, a sparrow or the sweet-sounding chickadee, I will keep on singing.