Falling Waters and A Maiden's Prayer
by Edy T Johnson
Whenever I hear sounds from childhood, I am suddenly transported from the here and now. The time machine in my head instantly clicks the shutter and I have returned to days gone by.
The whirr of a treadle sewing machine is Grandma's introduction. For those unfamiliar with such a machine, it operated without electricity. Foot power pumped the treadle which turned the belt connected to the wheel which moved the needle through fabric. Grandma was always busy, especially creative through sewing. She cut down our mom's dresses to make matching outfits for my little sister and me. While she intended to make only me a wardrobe for starting first grade, I told her she had to make something for Rachel, too, or she would feel left out. And, since I was so crazy about pockets, I'd remind her if she hadn't added one to every dress.
Likewise gone from today's world, for the most part, is the clackety percussion of the old typewriter. Such staccato notes echoing through the house from Dad's upstairs office, back then, brought the comfort of his presence to mind. Daddy was a terrific letter-writer. He maintained contact with his confirmands when they left home for work or school in the big city or for military service. He kept the lines of communication open to these young people, while also reminding them of God's call on their lives. In his later years, Dad bemoaned "the dying art of letter writing." How he would have loved the connections made possible by today's technology! Writing email letters would have been his forte.
The lullaby of childhood, however, has to belong to Mama and her piano. After the family devotions, the bedtime stories and the singing of prayer songs, we drifted off to sleep in our beds to the music of Mendelssohn and others of Mom's favorite composers wafting up the stairs. Titles remembered from her repertoire of memorized pieces include "Falling Waters," "A Maiden's Prayer," and "Robin's Return." This was Mama's time for reflection on the activities, joys and sorrows of the day as she practiced her music. I think it also cultivated in us children the need for solitude and music for our own reflecting on life's mysteries.
Sounds from my young-adult life also come back to haunt me from time to time. The greatest of these memory-joggers arrives from overhead in the form of helicopter blades, whipping the air. No matter the time of day or night, my time machine transports me back to the army hospital in the combat zone.
Such a symphony lives in my brain, composed of these strange instruments, and more, in the orchestra of my mind.
submitted for the Southern Porch (USA Message Board) interim writing prompt "Music"
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You have a gift! I, too, remember my Grandma's treadle sewing machine- she made me babrbie clothes! Your content is so valuable to the younger generation. They need to hear, see, and feel, the wonders of the "olden days."
I enjoyed sharing your walk down memory lane. Whenever we stayed at my grandparents, we would wake to the sound of my Grandpa's playing his piano. I used to lay in bed and listen, putting off getting up so I could enjoy it. But the smells that would come up from Grandma's kitchen never allowed me to lay there for very long.