if tomorrow wasn’t such a long time

There’s beauty in that silver singing river, there’s beauty in that sunrise in the sky, but none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty, that I remember in my true love’s eyes…

I first heard this song when I snuck onto my sister’s computer in middle school. She had an old white Mac desktop, running the very first version of OS X, and you had to know a password to get in. I remember trying a hundred different ones before I got it right. I would turn the music up, just enough to feel the strum of the guitar in my ribcage, and then I would sing.

I sang because I wanted to open the cage on longing. I wanted to feel those words about my true love, even before I had an idea of what that love would look like. I wanted to set myself free from the narrow ideas of who can sig and who can’t.

So I sang about silver singing rivers to the smudged mirror, to the empty house. I poured out my voice- and somehow in that moment, I opened my heart.

But I stopped singing for a while in college. Maybe I thought I wouldn’t have time, or that it was only for the truly miraculous voices, the ones that shatter your idea of what music could be. But I think mostly I forgot how to love even the smallest attempts to open our hearts. I forgot to be unashamed of singing to my mirror about my true love and how long tomorrow is, because I thought that only belonged to people who have a true love.

But singing that song belongs to all of us who long to live in love. And singing in the mirror, far from foolishness, might be the best way to keep our hearts strong and beating, joyful and true.

Tonight, I am going to sing to my mirror again. I am going to sing Sarah McLachlan and Ingrid Michaelson and Justin Vernon and Emmylou Harris. And in between their good sounds and good words, I think I might find freedom.

Love,
Hilary

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