The Music Box

Felicia - Arlington Heights, Illinois
Entered on May 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There are so many things in life that are right in our grasp, yet we cannot seem to grab hold of them. It seems that so many times in life we don’t take for granted things that are right in front of us until they are risked away. I believe that life is like a beautiful music box. All of the things we value and hold dear are kept inside it. So beautifully decorated with all of the assets we hold close, and with photos of ourselves through the years. But sometimes the beauty of ourselves blinds us from the sometimes-harsh reality of things we wish we could just close up and forget about.

The thing that always fascinated me about music boxes when I was kid was the way the music would start and stop on command. It seemed like magic, something that could just play on it’s own. As I stood on my tippy toes in front of my mother’s dresser I could see the beautiful box. I knew what it held, the wonderful song that I heard my mother listen to each morning. If only I could reach it, I could open the lid. When my mother got sick and her life went downhill I can only imagine the music box feeling she must have felt. Her whole life in front of her, that beautiful music, closed and shut away. But the thing that hurts the most is the knowing that there was a time when it was okay, when her life was beautiful like the music box that I would stand and stare at each morning. But it was like her hands were tied and all the while all she could think about was just reaching and opening that box, hearing the sound of the good times all over again.

We each hold different songs within our music boxes. Some are fast and some are slow, some loud and some soft. Our songs never stop playing but sometimes because of everyday things that blind us, it seems like the lids to our music boxes close shut, sometimes without even noticing. The business of life, the stress of work, the pain of an illness, or the sudden change that happens without our control, can sometimes blur the music of us that at one time would ring so strong. We let other things take a hold of the things we value, love, and trust. But someplace deep within we know were still there, and our music, our happiness, and our joys are still playing their songs just waiting for the lid to be open once more.

It seems that there are some people who are born with their music boxes closed. No happiness or joy followed them as a child…the death of a parent, or the hurt of abuse kept their boxes fussed shut to the point where they never thought they would hear their song. Their ears ringing with the everyday noise and the muffles of other people’s joys and happiness drone out their own. Self-discovery and self-happiness take more then a little girl standing on her tippy toes to reach. It might take years until a person finally opens up their music boxes and finally gets a chance to hear the music that was closed up inside them for so long. At first it might be very strong, loud, and overpowering because of how long the song was just waited for them to hear. I can still remember the first time I heard my song, sitting in the courthouse, legs crossed just waiting. Waiting to see what was coming next. When out came a tall man in a black suit. He looked sad, mellow, and not excited for the news he was about to deliver. “It’s all done, your adopted” he must have said but I cannot remember the words because my song seemed to boom louder then anyone else’s in that entire courthouse building. “I’M ADOPTED!” I screamed as I felt my new mother embrace me. At that moment, at the age of 3, I heard the very first beats of my song. Something so powerful that will continue to follow me the rest of life playing over and over in my mind, while also adding new verses along to it.

There have been so many times in my life that everything seems to get in the way, and hearing myself seems so difficult. There are days when I don’t even long to feel happy, the hurt and pain swoop over me and push any happiness away. But I know that doesn’t last. Just like I was as a young child, I know there is happiness, and I know there is more. My music box is not as far away as it seems over the edge of the dresser. It might take more then just standing on my tippy toes to reach it, and it seems like that might always be the case. We have to teach ourselves that it takes more then just our own two feet to hoist us up, to really reach ourselves. It might take a box to stand on, like a friend to lean on, or a stepping stool to balance with, like medicine to keep us alive. Either way, whatever we use we must not take for granted. For we all long to hold happiness in our hearts, like the beautiful music that plays from each music box.