At school, Mr. Lindsay, the music teacher would say, "Come up to the front of the class, little girl. I am going to play a note on this xylophone and I want you to harmonize with it." Mr. Lindsay taught the little girl to play the xylophone, the recorder, the flute, and the drums.
At home, the little girl laid beneath the family piano while her older sisters practiced Debussy and Rachmoninov. The vibration of the piano made her whole body tingle. When Grandma Ruby would visit, she laid under the quilting frame and listened carefully as Grandma told stories and sang classics from the 20's and 30's, her needle poking in and out of the soft fabric above. In the mornings, the little girl held onto the edge of her seat in the big, blue van while Momma played "Flight of the Bumble Bee" en route to Freshwater Elementary School. Soon, she began to realize that music was all around her and whenever she heard it, she felt a little fire start to glow deep within her chest.
One night at a slumber party, the little girl laid snuggled up in her sleeping bag in the dark, surrounded by other giggling fifth grade girls. "Sing us a bed time song!" they all chimed. "Come on, sing to us!" The little girl's voice sailed softly into the night air, hushing the giggling girls. The last thing she remembered before she drifted off to sleep was a fire beginning to glow deep inside her chest.
Momma signed the little girl up for voice lessons. "Red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather," she would sing up and down the scale.
"These voice lessons are not my thing!" the little girl told Momma. Momma listened and understood.
One day the little girl, now a seventh grader at Zane Jr. High, was in the locker room after P.E. The sweaty, noisy crowd had all gone and as the little girl gathered her things for the next period, she heard a sniffle from behind another row of lockers. She peered around the corner and saw Julia Blanc, alone on a bench and crying. The little girl sat by Julia. She did not know what to say. She put her arms around Julia and began to sing a song. Julia felt much better, and the little girl once again, felt a fire begin to glow deep inside her chest.
Not long after the locker room incident, the little girl's family moved away. Far, far away. They moved to the land of Spain; a land where people have sung with intense passion for thousands of years! She learned to sing in Spanish and even began to write her own songs. She sang in parks, at school, in churches, and as a guest in peoples' homes and the fire deep in her chest began burning more brightly than ever before! Until . . . one day. The little girl, who was now a young woman, was not in the right place at the right time. She was with a group of young people. One of them asked her to share a song with them. She sat down at the piano, and began to sing a song she had written all by herself. But something did not feel right this time. She continued on, however, and when she was done, the room filled with laughter! Everyone made fun of the song. The young woman felt the fire deep within her chest die just a little that day. She did not want to sing for anyone, at any time, ever again! To be continued tomorrow night . . .