As a three-year-old, our daughter watched the same Peter Rabbit videos every weekend when she was home from day care, before her nap, while resting on a sheepskin rug my sister sent years ago from Australia. The stories were as naive as they have always been, a silly goose who trusts a fox to watch her eggs, a disobedient rabbit who escapes from a farmer’s garden.
The graphics were simple, yet unlike many of the videos and books that our girl demanded to “Do again! Do again!” these videos never bored me. Rather than gnashing my teeth after the thousandth viewing, I sat mesmerized, addicted to the haunting, ethereal introductory music which stroked like light fingers on cool skin. Each time we watched one, I waited impatiently for the closing credits, which included the same song. No one was allowed to speak while it was playing.
Like all things toddler, we grew out of this video habit. We put the tapes aside and forgot about them until last fall when I was cleaning out cupboards and discovered one tucked in back. Waving it above my head, I literally jumped up and down before turning to face my wide-eyed husband. “Remember how much I loved the song from this? Thank goodness we still have a VCR. I can hear it one more time.” Popping it in, the music began and I froze, head cocked, inhaling the sound of the piano, the flute, the crystal-voiced performer. Sitting as still as I could, I let the music bleed through me. When it was done, I moaned to my husband. “I hate to get rid of this. This song is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.”
The good news is that one person in our house had his brain turned on that day. “Find the name of the artist in the credits and see if you can download the song from ITunes,” my husband suggested.
Oh how I love that man.
The artist is Miriam Stockley, the Song is “Perfect Day” and when it came on my play list as we ate dinner Saturday night, I paused, as I always do, while the lyrics and voice seeped like a slow brook way down to my center, to puddle at the heart of all I love, at the core of my softening soul.
Words and music and art--sometimes they tickle like a hot breath at the back of your neck or cause you to shiver like a kiss on the ear.
But we are luckiest when they are arranged in an ultimate combination, the one that seems to speak to us alone, the one that stops us cold.
Do you have a song, a poem, a picture that touches you this way? If so, care to share?