Except for those who suffered though WWII and are still living, the rest of us are concluding the most tumultuous year in our lifetime.
For 18 years until my dear Mother passed, the second Saturday of December saw 150 plus family and friends crowd into our humble home to sing holiday songs.
We watched virtually an entire generation of families grow up in our living room all compelled year after year to gather as one community to sing.
Sometimes the carolers at our parties would schedule another date to meet and we would go to a halfway house singing with at risk families or to the Children’s Hospital. One season I even created a choir on skid row at a homeless shelter. This tradition also continued in San Diego and New York at events hosted by clients- where admission would be new clothing items for the homeless.
I have written on this subject before but felt it necessary to revisit the theme of
‘the joy of singing’.
Singing dramatically raises our endorphins and so much more that enhances our health. Singing together, even over the internet, extends vibrational energy that connects us. Many years after dinner, our family would gather around the piano and we would sing. As children our sons were sung to sleep every night. Years ago I created an acrostic on the word ’sing’. We Sing to:
- Give to ourselves and others.
Think for a moment what that truly means. Sing to heal yourself. Sing to simply feel good. Sing as I have already said, to connect with others and they with you.
Singing is the simplest and most proactive thing we can do for our well-being.
Even humming is like an ‘internal massage’. This past weekend I subscribed to a live MET holiday recital with the Welsh baritone, Bryn Terfel in a 1000 year old church in Wales. To hear his voice soar so beautifully filling this Norman cathedral with rapturous music immediately released a floodgate of emotions. One of the songs that Mr. Terfel sang was based on a poem by the 19th century poet, Christina Rossetti—”Though the mid-winter may be bleak, let music give it depth and harmony…”
(By the way, you can still watch this recital until midnight Dec. 25. Check it out on met.org)
As a global community we are clearly in the middle of a very bleak winter. However, we can uplift ourselves through the power of song. And what more joyful songs are there to sing than the music from our various faith traditions at this exact time of year, created to help us revere, soar or simply be happy.