Old Flames, Rekindled

This weekend, as on many weekends in the summer, I went berry picking with friends. Spencer, my favorite new coworker, picked me up early on a Sunday and we headed west towards the land of plentiful berries and wine. I look forward to Oregon’s U-Pick berries every year, but this was Spencer’s first time. I couldn’t wait to have his review of the experience.

Though we are new friends, we’re getting to know each other by leaps and bounds, partaking in many lunchtime walks together and a lot of giggles. As fast friends, I became comfortable being 100% Becky early on, so at some point in the car ride, I sang a few verses of a song that was on the stereo.

“Hey, you’ve got a voice!” He commented. Indeed I do! There is no possible way I could escape the house of Swank without having formed some sort of singing voice; my parents were both constantly belting out tunes of all kinds in my formative years. I heard folk songs, hymns, jingles of favorite NPR shows, you name it. My sister and I were always encouraged to join in. We sang in church here and there as well. Whether or not I was any good, I hadn’t thought about in years, but I was glad to know my “training” had held up.

We got to the fields at Rowell Bros. and began filling our buckets, and I swiftly tucked the singing into the back of my mind. Though he had forgotten his sunscreen and hadn’t had time to eat, Spencer appeared to be having a great time. I was in my little corner of heaven, moving methodically through the berry bushes, dumping handfuls into my bucket. I had to stop myself before I hit five pounds of blueberries, though I could have easily gone for more. We hopped next door to Smith Berry Barn in hopes to finding some marionberries, but left with a flat of gorgeous blackberries instead. Not such a terrible compromise.

Afterwards, we loaded our berries in the car and drove towards home. Spencer asked me, “Do you know that song from Frozen… “Love is an Open Door?” I answered that I was sure I’d heard it in the movie but didn’t know it by heart. He responded not with words, but by bringing up the lyrics on his phone and turning on his Spotify to the Frozen soundtrack. “It’s a duet.” We both smiled.

And so it began. The first time I stumbled through, not knowing the pauses and speaking parts, of which there are several. But I loved it! As soon as the song ended, I asked him to play it again. He grinned, knowing I was hooked. “You sound really good!” He said excitedly. The second time around we really got in sync. The third time was better yet!

I felt exhilarated. I’ve always been a musical person, whether expressing that through singing in the kitchen, playing piano (9 years of lessons!), trumpet (5 years!), or most recently, by belly dancing and adding flair to my twirls at the salsa club. Music runs in my veins. I hadn’t meant to stifle the singer in me…I had learned new hobbies, focused on other things as I got older. I hadn’t realized how happy it made me until I was reminded so joyously.

How amazing it feels to have stumbled back upon something that makes me so happy! And how about you? You can find a flame, whether it’s something completely new or an old one you’ve let go. Blow gently, feed it some love. If the flame ignites into a fire, take the opportunity to cultivate it and see where it goes. Let me know what you (re)discover this summer.

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13 thoughts on “Old Flames, Rekindled

  1. I love your writing, although your version of events as a child as compared to mine are unique. I keep looking at the picture needing to know if the thing coming out of the gentleman mouth is a thing or a large 👅…

  2. Music has transformative properties – and it’s never too late to get back into the groove. Take it from me – I didn’t start learning to play an instrument until I was 18, and I ended up getting a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in my mid-30s. Glad it’s giving you so much joy – keep it up!

  3. What a lovely post! As someone who also has a love of singing and playing various instruments, it makes me so happy to read your joy in rekindling this love. Good for you! And, you went to two of my favorite spots for berry picking too 🙂

  4. What a sweet story! Singing and berry picking, two great things! Rowell Bros is my go-to for friendly people and great prices and selection of berries! We go a couple times each summer!

    Later on in the summer you can check out Jossy Farms for peaches and pears!

  5. My husband (who was also my high school sweetheart) love to sing and play music together, and actually have our little jam sessions scheduled on our calendar once a week. Back in the day, he had the best voice in our school and has been in a lot of bands over the years. I can harmonize pretty well, and making music together is one of the things that binds us.

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