Monitor Board of Contributors: It’s spring, time to celebrate the wonderful rhythm of life
This is the rhythm of spring. A dozen golden crocuses open their eager faces in my garden. Pussy willows bloom gray and soft as my cat, who wants to go out as soon as she comes in. The sun once again reaches around the house to warm the screen porch. I sit in its sunny corner savoring this first return after a long winter.
I am the conductor of Songweavers, an a cappella women’s chorus at Concord Community Music School. This year, the theme of our annual spring concert is “The Rhythm of Life.” Weekly, as we prepared for tomorrow’s concert, we have been exploring the rituals of rhythm.
Spring, the season of rebirth, is in our face with its whining wind and teasing sun, making us wait for the warmth we know is around the corner. The rhythm of spring wakes us up to our own new beginnings. As Cindy Kallett writes in one of our songs, “My heart is ready and what am I gonna do? . . . I’m gonna walk to the glory of the mountains.”
I am going to walk today, too, through the woods, watching for the glory of new life. Rhythm brackets our life – from the rhythm of blood and heart beat in the womb, our cells vibrating in rhythm with our mother’s pulse, to the last sigh as we exhale one last time. In between, there is our daily rhythm, seasonal rhythm and the phases of our lives. We talk about natural rhythm, internal rhythm, cardiac rhythm and arrhythmia. We feel the circadian rhythms of our bodies, lunar, solar and tidal rhythms. In lyric rhythm, Cy Coleman sings, “Oh, the rhythm of life is a powerful beat; Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet.”
We humans use rhythm to understand and interact with life. We play drums, dance and chant to unravel and commune with the mysteries of life. From breath and blood to communication with the divine, from cycles of light and dark to the rhythm of gardens, spring and growing things, from wind, waves and weather to the natural cycles of life and death, from the first cry to the last sigh, humans live in a symphony of rhythm.
Michael Jackson said, “To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in our veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” Music is one way we connect to our core rhythm – in praise, prayer and play, running, resting and reveling. Breathing, eager, and alive, the beat of the world is on the move. As Ira Gershwin wrote, with a slight edit from Songweavers, “I got rhythm. I got music. I got my song. Who could ask for anything more?” Who, indeed?
I read once that if you place two living heart cells from two different people in a petri dish, they will in time find and maintain a third and common beat. Like singing, a chorus breathing and vibrating together, we create a sound and rhythmic energy that unites each beating heart.
From sun-up to sun-down, through the seasons of our lives and the dances of our days, from one heart beat to two to the many beating as one, music anchors us to being alive. Spring is a splendid time to celebrate the rhythm of our life.
(Peggo Horstmann Hodes will teach a Vibrant Voice Workshop called Sing Into Spring April 19 and 20 at the Concord Community Music School. For information on that and tomorrow’s Songweavers Concert, go to ccmusicschool.org.)