Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Music of Words

 In my family, we sing all the time and always did. Once when my nephew Jacob was little, buzzing around at our feet as my sisters and I worked in the kitchen, he lifted his gorgeous blond head and asked, “Does everybody sing like this?” We laughed but we didn’t have an answer. We just knew it was natural to us. 
     Any bit of conversation, any line, can remind us of some lyrics and cause us to burst into song. Usually, laughter follows, particularly when the song is an oldie or particularly funny.
     For me and my two sisters who came right after me, our mother was a stay-at-home mom. She sang in the kitchen and told us stories of her childhood, painting pictures of the farm, the depression, and a little red-haired girl who loved school. She had to quit when she was fourteen to work in a woolen mill miles away. I could always picture her long shapely legs carrying her up the hill at Norval, through the Brampton laneways, into the middle of town where the woolen mill still stands. It’s now an office building and a restaurant – even my dentist has his practice there.
     Mom told me she’d always wanted to be a writer, which was why she was especially proud of the fact that I inherited her gift and obsession. Her support and encouragement allowed me to actually become the author she’d dreamt about.

     It was a little different for our two younger sisters, because Mom went to work when they were quite young. However, the singing never stopped. Even through her dementia, our mother is beloved by her caregivers and her fellow residents for her propensity to burst into song at any moment. It makes them smile.

      I began to write as soon as I acquired the skill to string words together, around seven years old. I hear this often from other authors: that the desire to put sentences and ideas on paper began in early childhood and never abated. 
     I wake up in the morning with song lyrics, tunes, and stories in my head. How lucky is that? The Emily Taylor Mysteries
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