As a dancer deep down inside, I’ve always felt a wonderful connection to music. It makes me want to move and groove. I’ve always liked to try to pick out different beats in the song and think of how you could mix up the tempo of a dance to fit the different and less obvious beats and rhythms of a song. For this writing challenge though, instead of picking a song I would dance to, I decided to pick one that triggers an emotional memory for me. Music can be so powerful, especially in relation to memory. Music is perfect for immortalizing the emotions of a moment, which, for those of you who know about the brain, is what really makes a memory stick. The song I’ve chosen is actually a hymn titled Be Still My Soul. I was originally planning on staying away from hymns and religious music for this challenge for various reasons but I just keep coming back to this one (don’t worry, this isn’t going to be an I Love Jesus and God lecture).
Back when I was in high school, my sister-in-law was pregnant. She was the first one of my siblings to be having a baby so it would be the first of my parents grandchildren and my first niece. It was definitely an emotional time for my family. During an ultrasound, the doctors discovered that the baby’s brain wasn’t developing. She would go full-term but likely only live for a few hours. After the initial shock and pain, we accepted this and were looking forward to being able to cherish the few hours we would have with her before she passed away. Then my sister-in-law got sick. The baby passed away before birth and those few precious hours were ripped away from us. For me, still a young girl trying to understand life, this rocked my world and shattered a little part of my heart. She was named Kymberly and we held a small funeral for her. To anyone who has attended a funeral for a child and seen a casket so small, you understand how heartbreaking this is. One of the hymns we sang (only one I remember from that day) was Be Still My Soul. It wasn’t even really singing, more like all of us pleading to ourselves and promising ourselves that it would be all right while tears streamed down our faces and our voices cracked. For a long time afterwards, I couldn’t hear this song without tears coming to my eyes. To me it is a personal comfort, a promise, and a small, intimate memorial to the beautiful niece that never got to see this world.
1) Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
2) Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
3) Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Link for the Challenge: