Mama G. and the Immanent Music

I used to walk down to the Gottliebs’ house every day after school. They were retired farmers, sold off most of their land years ago, but kept a few acres. Farmers don’t ever really retire. Their kids had long since moved away, but everyone still called them Mama and Papa G. They were, in a way, the parental figures of our little town. Papa G was always out in the fields, and didn’t have much to say beyond the current state of the wheat, but his presence was warm. Mama G sat on the porch and protected the neighborhood with her watchful, loving eye.


Mama G would tell us stories. It didn’t matter about what; she always captivated us. There was so much wisdom in her words.

“Listen, dear. Listen to the world around you. Listen to the stories being told.

“There is music in everything.”

She took me on a journey. The rustling of the shafts of wheat, the squabbling of geese on the lake, the evaporation of the tea she always seemed to have ready. The howls of the wind and the blooming of flowers. The icy warmth of fresh drifts of snow and the piercing way in which the sun got under our skin. The itchy shifting of farmhouse floorboards. The softness in her arms as she picked me up when I fell. The sweet, waxy smell of fresh-picked vegetables.

“Listen, child! There are stories being told all around you! Listen to the rhythm beating out from the core of the Earth, as all of creation joins in the song! Can you hear it?

“There is music in everything.”


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