Of Moms, Mountains, and Music- “Small Steps”

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If you read my previous post, Climbing Mt. Motherhood– My Hillary Step, you know that, as usual, I have mountains on my mind.

A musician-dude named Rob read my post and commented that he has a band called The Hillary Step.  Rob told me about a song he thought would resonate with me called “Small Steps.”  He sent the song to me via email.

Oh, little blog, we have yet to commune about my enduring love for music.

In college, I modeled for an art professor from Brown who kept a steady stream of tunes playing throughout the class.  He introduced me to Bolly Sagoo, and I introduced him to Bjork.  He taught a class in his basement where the walls were stacked with piles of his drawings, cassette tapes, and records.  The basement was musty and triggered my allergies, but I escaped in whatever he was playing and hardly noticed any discomfort.

Although my art-modeling goes back 18 years, I remember this professor say he could always justify purchasing music because of its priceless therapeutic quality.  Music is as nourishing as food.  I remember him saying this every time I spend money on music I can’t afford (itunes, anyone?).

Since then, I have been avidly collecting music of all styles.  So, the gift of a song from someone I have never met is very special.

Rob sent me a link to The Hillary Step’s website.  I encourage you to check them out either at http://www.thehillarystep.com or on itunes.  I listened to a few songs that had catchy titles- “Quietness of Love,” “Stars & Butterflies,” “Neon Road,” and “Breathe Again,” to name a few.

The Hillary Step has a crystal-clear, jammin’ melody.  Their songs are lyrical and lovely.  Rob has a tender, James Taylor-y voice.  You can imagine every girl in the room totally swooning over him as soon as he opens his mouth.

I listened to “Small Steps,” the song he sent me, about a dozen times.  Every time I listen to it, it grows on me a little more.  The refrain is, “Small steps move you, small steps over the mountain, and small steps will bring you home.”  The words are sung in a mantra-like way that does indeed resonate.

A total stranger sending me a song was an incredible kindness that got me through some moments this week.

For example, this morning I had to take my car into the shop for repairs on my breaks.  It ended up being almost twice what I expected to pay.

Not much could sugar-coat my nasty mood this week.  I’m in a grouchy, dark place, and it is taxing to move my body off the couch.  Sometimes I can redirect such a fowl humor by thinking, “well, we’ve got our health,” or by listening to the news about Syria.  That was not working for me today as I perseverated on life’s many  expenses.  But a responsible mom gets her brakes fixed, so I dropped off the car and put in my ear buds for the short walk home.

I cued up “Small Steps.”

The music was loud and I walked in time to it, through the dusting of snow we got last night, a fine, sparkly powder.  As I walked, I allowed myself to let go of some of my frustration and anger and revel in the beauty of the snow.  The music was almost hypnotic.  At about 12 degrees fahrenheit, my face and fingers froze in moments, but there was exhilaration in the cold that allowed me to imagine that I was trundling through the Himalaya.

We don’t live far from the station where I left my car; I was home in the time it took to listen to Rob’s song.

When I went back later to get my car, the mechanic informed me I will also need rear brakes in a month or so.  Through gritted teeth, I thanked him and drove away.  So, there is another expense on my horizon.  I may have to log onto itunes and buy some more music to get me through.  In the mean time, “Small Steps” will be my theme song.  I will keep putting one foot in front of another, hoping to get up and down my mountains.

Thank you, Rob, and The Hillary Step.

What songs help to keep you going?  How do you manage to get up and down your mountains, or dispel an angry mood?  Do you have any tricks that adjust your attitude during difficult times?  

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Regina Spektor, Mindfulness, and Candy Crush | momasteblog

  2. I’ve been reading through your blog since I discovered your post on breastfeeding trauma. I see so much of myself in you. The “if I was a good mom” syndrome, the borderline OCD personality, and – something positive we share – a love for yoga and a desire to be mindful. After reading this post I can now add to the list a deep adoration for music and all the healing powers it possesses. This comment is my long-winded introduction to telling you about my favourite musician – who has a song called “Avalanche” that is so up your alley it’s scary. I read that you’re from the “east coast” and I imagine you mean the US so you likely haven’t heard of him. His name is Matthew Good and he’s pretty well-known up here in Canada. Words cannot express how I feel about his music and how much it has been there for me in times of need. Anyway… here’s the song:

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