We were watching a movie the other night and in one part the guy writes a song for his girlfriend and tells her, “For your song I used all the good keys…” Being the sappy, corny person Lady Hiva tells me I am, I really liked the metaphor when I heard it. I thought about it after the movie and wondered if each of us had a song, what would they sound like? Would they sound similar? Or different? There are 88 keys on a piano (36 black and 52 white), which keys are used in your song?
I envision each of our songs are unique, just as we are unique children of God. Some of us with slow peaceful ballads, others with loud pomp and circumstance; a lullaby; a patriotic march; a cheerful melody; a base keeping a fast dancing tempo, or a sullen tune full of emotion. As I thought about the quote more, I began to disagree with it. Which keys are the bad keys? Which are the good keys? It isn’t the keys themselves that give the song character—one simple key is rather dull and uneventful by itself—it is how we use the keys in succession with other keys that create our personal concerto.This weekend I was able to see how life's circumstances play a part in our song.
We joined some work friends at the pool. USEC (United States Embassy Club) does outreach into the local community. One of the programs is after school for some underprivileged children. 20 of these children came for a weekend pool party. We had so much fun. They were bursting full of energy and loved that all of us were willing to get in a play with them.
Bryan and I would throw them into the pool to see how high they could go. Hiva wanted to introduce them to “chicken fighting.” One person sits on the shoulders of another person and they push another team until one team falls into the water. All of these games we used to play as children but these kids had never seen them before. (We had to stop the chicken fighting because some of the boys got too aggressive and decided pushing was not enough and started punching!)
Bryan showed them what a cannonball was and we then practiced diving. I had to laugh when one of the boys did a belly flop. I physically winced when the loud crack of him meeting the water sounded. I asked him if it hurt when he surfaced, but as soon as he caught his breath he swam to the side and started punching his stomach and saying, “I am strong, my stomach hard!” They were so fun and adventurous. Lady Hiva was teaching one of the girls how to swim and she leaned over to tell Hiva she was “so happy.” It touched Hiva to see how such a simple thing like swimming could bring happiness to another.As we played I could not help but think about the uniqueness of each child and how each one would have a different song to sing.
Their songs are all diverse and extremely different from what my life was like when I was at their age. By experiences alone, their songs reflect a life I only read about in books or heard about when grandma threatened I ‘needed to eat all my food because there are starving children in other countries that do not have anything to eat tonight.’ Yes, I do not agree there are bad keys, just a different chorus.
We all come from so many backgrounds; our life’s song is almost inherently created. Our families, our friends, and our situations all add a few keys to orchestrate the opus. Talents are the tools given to use and with those talents we form the song others hear from us.
What is my song? I am not sure. Most likely it changes with time, but I hope that the main melody is one of happiness and encouragement; something that inspires or makes others want to get up and dance or conquer an obstacle. Most of all, a song that brings a smile. Often we do not get the luxury to choose which keys fall into our music, but we can use what we are given to weave an unforgettable orchestra.