Music Box Reverie

November 11, 2013

Music boxes remind us that there are many seasons in life, each with its own sweet song to play.

Some seasons in life overflow with bright-eyed, breathless moments. I mean those moments they write songs about, and books about, and “live, laugh, love” quotes about.

Other seasons are full of… waiting. Some days the thing I’m waiting for seems just out of reach, just around the bend. So I wind up a music box and listen expectantly. I rush to rewind the spring before the melody reaches its end. If the music box will only keep on playing, perhaps I’ll finally hear the next phrase, the next movement, the imagined crescendo.

But some days, the thing you wait for feels distant and undefined. A music box plays, but the melody is cut short. The song, like a memory, fades away.

There have been music boxes in every season of my life. A teddy bear who played Jesus Loves Me watched over my sleep when I was just a wee lass. A poised ballerina in a pink jewelry box taught me to dance to the tune of Once Upon a Dream. When I was eight years old, a soft doll with golden curls reassured me that loved ones were ever near with her rendition of It’s a Small World. (There is just one moon, and one golden sun.)

My girlhood impressions of romance were tied up in music boxes that did not belong to me. I admired a Gone with the Wind box that played Tara’s Theme. Before the San Francisco Music Box Company left our favorite mall, I would often gaze at The Phantom of the Opera musical figurines. Illusions of the human heart–and sacrifices made by noble souls–were things that mystified and intrigued me, things I did not yet understand.

In our teen years, my brother and I didn’t always have words ready at hand when the other wanted to talk. But we could always listen to the music. So we wound up the boxes that dotted my bedroom: a snowglobe with a grand piano that played Fur Elise; a school girl at her desk declaring I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing; a hand-painted wooden candy store invoking its hero The Candy Man; and later, a Tinker Bell tiptoeing across a mirror with the key to Peter Pan’s magic: You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!

One music box is still with me and out on display–a silver-colored jewelry case with its Fascination Waltz. My mom found this for me when I was newly engaged. It’s the perfect home for cherished trinkets from the last several years.

Today, I’m waiting. Perhaps you are too. You don’t know what song will enter your life tomorrow or next year. I don’t know how long this song (or the next one) will last. But I know they’ll be beautiful–your songs and mine, the loud and the soft ones, present and future. I hope we can share a few in person, but if not, write me about them. I’ll be here, listening.

Photo credit: Michael Kumm, courtesy of Creative Commons.

One Response to “Music Box Reverie”

  1. Linda said

    Dearest Daniella,
    I hope this newest song of yours lasts forever, and that I get to sing it with you.
    Love, Mom Linda

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