I love the joy that music can bring. That a smile widens with each click up on the volume dial. The secrecy of headphones, the fact that no one knows what you’re listening to and loving, whether it be the thumping, frenzied bass of Ministry of Sound or some mellow A Tribe Called Quest. I love the way that everyone loves something completely different, and that even that changes drastically with the vibe they’re feeling, what they’re doing, or what they’re thinking about. I love that we have a worldwide archive of what must be billions of songs, all written and sung by someone, at some point in time, somewhere.
Sometimes it seems like we’ll run out of melodies soon, and have to start from the beginning again and cycle, like the fashion industry. But I don’t think that will happen somehow. It seems like music is an ever changing beast, and although there may be a golden sequence that is reused again and again, there is always someone new with a completely fresh take on combining beats and harmonies, rap and jazz, in a way that no one ever imagined before. That creation process amazes me. How they get all those instruments and back up singers’ notes to come together and create a three minute song is unfathomable to me. So I take my hat off to all you musicians out there, with a sincerely heartfelt and grateful thank you. What would we do without you?
It’s in moments like these that I truly adore life. Moments that make me stop and see my surrounding through new eyes, that make me really appreciate where I am. This moment was a night just like any other in this campfire lifestyle, gas stove dinner, lukewarm chocolate mousse, cask red wine. But tonight there was a guitar added. Una is almost 2, and she loves music more than anything. Her little hands tug me to my feet and we are twirling and laughing in the flickering candlelight, the taut strings of the guitar somehow creating the glorious music we dance to. My jar of red wine lies abandoned on the dirt beside my upturned bucket seat, and all I can see as we spin are Una’s white little teeth and bright blue eyes, her face stretched wide in an overjoyed smile. It was in this moment, in this dance that I took a step back, and realized how amazing it all is.
I am high in the Portuguese mountains, dancing with a little Danish girl who dances with the unrestrained vigor of the too young to be embarrassed, listening to Uruguayan lullabies and Jamaican reggae songs. Each song starts differently, the guitar is plucked confidently until a sweet melody is weaving through the air, winding its way around the tealight candles in glass jars that hang from the old olive trees. And it makes me realize, this is all I need.
People want to be millionaires, because they want experiences that they think only millions can buy. I have had many of those experiences, and I plan on having many more. I am only 23, with about five thousand New Zealand dollars and a huge student loan to my name. Anyone can have these experiences. Life is truly beautiful. As the night winds down the music slows, becomes higher and softer, more voices joining in to create smooth harmonies. Una has danced enough, and is swinging in Oli’s arms, mute and mesmerized by candlelight, in the old hammock. Each star is bright above us, and voices between songs are hushed and reverent. I sit quietly with my jar of red wine, so happy for this previously unknown place to which life has brought me.