"A good poet often rubs shoulders with the prophets. It is the expanded sensitivity to those things around us both in time and space that makes it so. Don't let this old world encrust your heart. Let it grow everyday."
My grandpa wrote me those words when I was nineteen years old. I'd been sending him dozens of e-mails with my own ideas, philosophies and mostly poetry. Oh, how he encouraged me, how he loved me, and still does to this day. My dear grandpa Cannon, how I love you for seeing in me a voice I didn't even know I had yet.
Ten years before that, when I was in third grade, my grandpa Kohler found a poem I'd written for school. It was called "The winter present" and it was a sweet little musing with off beat rhythms and imperfect rhymes. (A lovely habit I carry with me even today) My grandpa was so impressed, he framed that poem and proudly hung it in his office at work. To this day my little poem hangs above the desk in his home. Every time I see it, I feel the trust in my own voice grow because my grandpa believed in it years ago.
I live a life surrounded by people who believe in me.
Before every voice recital or performance my dad has whispered in my ear "Do you love to sing?" And waited for my answer "Yes, I love to sing!" Teaching me that sometimes we must love something before we are good at it, not love it because we are good at it.
I had a wonderful experience in public school, surrounded by teachers who encouraged me to grow and challenged me to open my heart and be me. Having the experience of being taught by such talented and inspired mentors is a blessing I am deeply grateful for.
My voice teacher, my Italian Momma, took me under her wing as a gangly twelve year old and wrapped me in the cocoon of her music and love from which I emerged a woman of confidence, grace, and poise. She taught me, not just how to sing, but why to sing. She showed me that music is an expression of the soul, a way to connect with humanity and anything less than that is just noise. Music is life to her. If she ever stopped singing, it would be as though she stopped breathing. Apart of her spirit would suffocate and die.
I married a man who marvels at my every move. Every thought I have he appreciates every note I sing he applauds to. If I have a dream he makes its pursuit a possibility, no matter the cost. His love and acceptance have allowed me to become more than I knew I could be. No matter where he is, or when I've seen him last, I feel his love and devotion deep within me. His love binds me to him in a way that miles can not separate. It is his love that frees my spirit to soar, and allows my heart to grow without boundary.
I am surrounded by people who make my life heaven on earth. I am uplifted and sustained by all of you. I can open my heart and be me without fear because of your love and acceptance. I know how very blessed I am. I know that I am who I am because of people whose love, influenced my life and allowed me to become what the Lord intended. My parents always told me that I could make more out of my life than they could. They never doubted the potential within me.
To all of you, my friends, my family, my church, my teachers, my mentors, my God, thank you. It is with a gratitude so consuming I can barely describe its magnitude. Thank you, for being the inspiration I needed to find my voice. I will spend the rest of my life singing for you, returning to you the love I have received in such gracious abundance. My song can not be silenced now, it will carry with a mighty crescendo stretching to the far reaches of the earth. Filling all the hearts who hear it with this love I know so well. This love that taught me to sing. Love that taught me dreams take flight on the wings of passion. Love that taught me to let your heart grow everyday. Love that taught me faith can be framed above a desk, and music can give a little girl a voice with which to sing out the songs of heaven. Love that taught me I can influence the world. I have the power to bring peace to this earth. There is enough light within me to light the universe. I am not afraid to love. I am full of gratitude for my existence, for my Lord and Savior, for my family, for this glorious world and all the children of God within it.
|I love you world!|
|The Domestic Diva|