I come from this dusty, dry earth — this sun-scorched land full of dirt and remembrance. It calls, I resist. It calls, I resist. It calls, I resist. And I’m not quite sure why I resist it, but I do. I think it’s some sort of defense us desert kids have in order to forget the pain inflicted on our childhoods by that ghastly thermometer — always climbing, climbing, climbing and… geesh, is it hot in here? But sometimes, on those particularly vulnerable days, this old California desert town squeezes its way past my defenses and into those tiny moments forever stashed away in memory.
Sunday. On Sunday it found me there. And nostalgia, well, she put up a good fight. And if you ask me, I think Father’s Day is to blame for all of this, for on that day, I found myself traversing down those familiar desert roads, unearthing old memories buried deep beneath the swift passage of time — my first driving lesson quietly stowed underneath that new housing tract over here, and my first date echoing through the walls of that abandoned restaurant over there.
But it was the radio that did me in — that old dusty box stashed away beneath my father’s workbench. I almost missed it sitting there, that familiar friend of mine. And as my fingers reaquainted themselves with that timeworn machine, I remembered all of those songs she gracefully hummed into my life. Songs of hope, songs of passion, songs of dreams. And I would sing along as each note gave rise to wild ambition, my heart crescendoing in-rhythm with these smalltown dreams.
And that ol’ machine, she played that melody with gusto — her song compelling these eager feet to run. And so I ran. I ran from this parched land with my compass set for adventure. I ran toward the big, and the bright, and the possible. Because everything was big, and bright, and possible back then, wasn’t it?
And then somewhere along the way, I stopped running. And that melody, it ceased to spur me on. The bright grew dim, and the big grew small, and my singing sank to a halfhearted whisper.
And I’m not sure why it happens, but it does… to all of us. That big, ravenous world swallows up our dreams, and we stop singing those songs that once made our hearts soar with inspiration. But if you listen closely, sometimes you’ll hear them. Because those relentless songs, they don’t let go. We let go. So find that melody and sing it out, dear friends. The world awaits your song.
“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
— Pope Benedict XVI