Scanning through the radio stations on my drive home tonight, a song caught my ear. I had no idea what it was, but the sound was vaguely reminiscent of one of my old favorites – Suzanne Vega. The song set off a chain of thoughts in my head, as often happens when I am exhausted and just trying to make it to bedtime.
First thought – I wonder what my kids will think of the music I listen to when they are old enough to explore my collection. I always found my parents’ record collection a bit of a mystery. The artists sang of experiences and concepts I was too young to understand. Adding to the mystery was the location of the collection – crammed deep in our dining room closet. I had to climb over shoes and in between coats to get to the shelf at the back of the closet. And that was only on the rare moments I explored the collection, as it was off-limits.
When I got older, and was allowed to play them, I would slowly pour through the albums until one caught my eye. My love of Neil Diamond and Simon & Garfunkel was born during afternoons by the record player.
While reminiscing, I also felt a sense of loss for my own children. Instead of a tangible connection to the music Kendra and I listen to, they will just scroll through our iTunes list. Devoid of album covers to catch their eye, who knows what they will find. Or if they will even want to sift through the seemingly endless list of songs.
They may never chance upon a song that one day reminds them so definitively of their parents’ music collection. For me it was a love song that, in my present sleepy state, I couldn’t quite recall. But I could feel the memory – the time spent listening to a song that had first made me ponder the idea of true love. But the feeling wasn’t enough. I wanted to remember the title and the lyrics that were just out of my consciousness’ reach.
As I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things, I lamented my lack of memory, wondering how I would ever recall the song when it was too uncommon to even be played on the “oldies” radio stations. Inevitably, my mind moved onto other thoughts. It wasn’t until I placed my items on the conveyor belt and had a moment to breathe that I heard the song playing over the speaker system in Market Basket.
A song about love and fate… it seems too unlikely to just be a coincidence. Perhaps a sign from the universe? Or just another mystery from my parents’ record collection…