Her manicured nails tapped the edge of her wheelchair and her white tennis shoes kept time on the floor, her legs dangling over the edge of the metal footrests underneath her. She sang every word of the lyrics along with the performer, a smile playing across her face, and her husband soon joined her. Her health was obviously not good, but here she was with the rest of us being transported to whatever place we each went to as this particular tune was performed.
The rest of the room that night, like most Wednesday nights when we all convened in this bar, was a patchwork of characters. There were cowboy boots and very large hats sitting (or dancing) next to heavily starched shirts with little alligators wandering across the front. An entire family took up a long table near the back, kids ranging from about 8 to young adults, sitting with mom and dad....oh, wait, there's grandma, too. Not everyone knew that the Mom of that family had begun chemo a few weeks ago, but here they all were, strengthening one another by banding together to forget all of that for a few hours.
The singer belted out country music and then switched to Fleetwood Mac, only to turn the mic over to a friend who sang some goosebumping gospel. The music rightly took center stage until a newcomer stepped through doorway aross the room. Greetings were called out to welcome old friends.....which turns out to be anyone who showed up once before and decided to come back. Kind of like Cheers, for those of you old enough to relate. "Norm!"
During the week, this group of folks probably would never have come into contact with one another. I don't generally hang around with used car salesmen, realtors, shrimp boat operators, firemen, or retired masons. Roofers, life coaches, teachers.....maybe even a writer or two.
But music has the ability to draw us together, doesn't it? The wheelchair-bound woman and I might be near the same age, it's hard to tell. And even though our backgrounds are obviously different, when that particular song weaves its way around us, we come together to ride the music. We are literally lifted away from this place to a lyrical place that exists for both of us....if even for a few beats of time.
“Music fills the infinite between two souls.”