It was just an ordinary Friday afternoon: Cancan and I had driven to the local BART station to drop off the car for Daddy. See, we’ve embraced City Life for all its worth by only having one car – I, in return, toss labels like “sexy” and “living simply” and “eco-savvy” onto our choice of transportation [the choice of transportation that equals out to me getting the car most of the week], while the HBH (…rightfully) guffaws at the hassle of it all. But there we were, on the corner of Ocean and San Jose; Baby strapped in the stroller, I checked to make sure the car was clear of belongings and subsequently texted Husband the address. Earphones in place, I steadied myself for the long upward descent home, and then it happened.
Music started playing.
Mind you, I realize this is considered normal to the great majority of 21st century Americans, particularly those who pop earphones into their ears and wait for a listening reaction to occur.
But for me (First World Problem, First World Problem…), in order to save space on my phone, I’d purposefully not synced the itunes album on my computer with the album on my phone. And then the break-in happened, and all of our pictures and my Masters coursework and that which could be considered my livelihood of writing and speaking documents were lost, along with the music, too.
And a slew of emotions ensued: I was angry and I was sad and I was bitter, seemingly all at the same time. I mourned and I shook my fist and I grew paranoid at the very thought of the Comcast man parked obtrusively in front of our house, as the police said it was a group of thieves posting as service workers who likely broke in to our residence. I drove around the block three times and then I parked in our driveway again, and I ran inside and grabbed the new laptop and the borrowed iPad because I would not let this happen again. I cussed and I screamed, but then I pulled to the side of the road, and with deep breaths I said, FEAR, You will not get the best of me. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, come…
So here we were, just a couple days after circling the block, when the music started playing.
And walking up the sidewalk, I looked to my right to see if the sound was coming from the park, and across my shoulder to the other side to see if a parked car was playing the haunting, soul-searching echoes of the cello and its accompanying strings. But then I realized that it was coming from my ears – my ears – and it was my music – my music – and with tears in my eyes, I picked up my phone from its hiding place, and I looked at the screen in disbelief.
Somehow, the magical world of iCloud had saved my music, even if it took me six weeks to realize it.
So, my legs began pumping faster as the hill started to rise, purposeful, purposeful, as Hope started to sing its way into my soul, as Beauty opened my eyes to her Already-In-Existence self. I listened to the mournful cellist, Zoe Keating, pour her own self into her stringed instrument, to my favorite of songs, “Sun Will Set,” and I was again reminded of new beginnings, each day, every day, given anew. Grace massaged my tired shoulders as I pushed the stroller up the hill: the sun will rise and the sun will set, but tomorrow is a new day. And with it comes the unimagined, refueling abundance of more Hope and more Beauty and more Grace.
The smile would not wear on my face, but grew with each step, the depths of its very existence filling my insides and reaching out its gnarled fingers to strangers I passed on gritty street corners, to the old man crossing the street with suitcase in tote.
Because I guess for a little while there, I’d forgotten what joy was like.
But then – as often happens, I suppose – that gentle reminder, that loving nudge pushed its way in …and this time, I said yes. And it wasn’t that my music was saved, per say, but it was that reminder of Hope Remaining, the combination of the song and the day and the loveliness of God cupping me in the palms of his hands, saying, I’ve got you.
(I’m also really, really glad Apple products are smarter than the average user. Ahem).
What about you? What’s given you Hope lately? What’s brought back joy and put a pep in your step lately?