At night, after dance parties and imaginations have submitted to the weariness of the day, we close our day. Mostly accomplishing ordinary tasks, taking care of little bodies and teeth, reading stories we could otherwise recite from so much repetition, including the physical books for ceremony, then filling our souls with God’s love and the small joys of kneeling together in a full sided square, at least until a little one breaks the shape mid devotion. The last ritual commences in the dark, with little whispers pleading for greater powers to ward off evils and the unknown, and among the last whispered imaginings of the day, my voice, imperfect, but all my children know of lullabies, humming songs my own Mother sang to me.
I don’t know the exact songs she sang as I drifted off to sleep during my young childhood, somehow I cannot recall those memories as pure fact. But if she did, as I assume, I was likely clinging to her voice in the darkness as I know my Jane clings to mine. I was always afraid of the dark, and when I sing certain songs, I hear my mother’s voice in my own. Like an anchor, an audible refuge, my voice assures my little one that she is safe, and that when your mind is full of wonderful things there is no room for the bad. I associate specific songs with my mother because they are her favorites. I wonder if she remembers evenings like ours, humming lullabies between interludes of telling children to stop talking and go to sleep. Then I wonder if I will be the one to remind my own daughters of those days, or if the faint memories of them will return as they sing songs with my voice and memory in them to their own children who cling in the dark.
Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?