Music and Memories

One of the things that I have marvelled at since Ruby was born, is the number of songs and nursery rhymes that have come to mind as I sing to Ruby, that were once sung to me as a child. I love how memories that were create separately can connect beautifully to one another, simply by the association of bring sung to as a baby, and singing to my own baby. 

My mother in law sat with Ruby on her knee, reciting the rhyme, 'this is how the lady rides, trit trot, trit trot, trit trot...' And I am taken back to visits to the eye hospital as a child. I remember sitting on my Father's knee and asking him to do the train ride game again and again. He wound bounce me up and down, making the sound of an old style train, chugging along with a chickety-ch, chickety-ch, and then at any given time, he would hold me tight and let me fall through his legs. I loved that feeling, the anticipation of what was to come, the whooshing in my tummy that's synonymous with roller coasters and love, but not quite knowing when that moment would be. 

While I was pregnant, I made a playlist of music that would help me relax during labour. I really loved having the calming influences of beautiful music playing on repeat as I laboured at home. One of the tracks was 'storms in Africa' by Enya. When Ruby was 15 weeks old, I started incorporating massage into her bedtime routine. I wanted to include some calming music to accompany this quiet, calming time before bed, and started playing 'Storms in Africa' as this is one of the few tracks on my phone that isn't one of my heart thumping, blood pumping running tracks. Knowing how strong our associations with music can be, I have continued playing this one track as I massage Ruby and settle her to sleep. And as she is lulled to sleep, I wonder if she remembers hearing the very same music that played as she journeyed into the world. 

This morning I watched a video that had a song by Enya as the background, and I smiled as I thought about admitting to you all that secretly, I kind of love her music. I thought about where this enjoyment for her music came from, and just like that, memories that were made years apart from oneanother, connected together like far flung star constellations, with nothing in common except for the music that is associated with those memories. As I listened to Enya's gentle voice,  I pinpointed where I had first heard her music. It was in the waiting room of the Orthodontic Practice that I visited for a good number of years as a teenager. I would sit there, wait for my name to be called, heralding my ascent of the spiral staircase, up to the Orthodontist's chair. And in that moment of recollecting the memory, my mind leapt forward to my final year of university. Enya returned as a musical companion in my final semester of my degree, when Hannah and I would study together in the beautiful Medical Sciences library. Hannah would bring her iPod along, and I remember scrolling through her music and discovering Enya. So, this wasn't just music for listening to in waiting rooms as a teenager, but to be shared with a kindred spirit while studying, and to keep me calm in the hours that led up to me meeting my daughter for the first time.