Friday, November 14, 2008

Sing It Forward

Do you ever come across a stranger and just feel a connection? Have them impact your life in an unanticipated and powerful way? My friend Latifa and I decided to spend our lunch break at Costco this past Wednesday. This is a regular and favorite lunch spot. We can feel like we are getting exercise by walking a lot. We get a "free lunch" by enjoying the samples throughout the store. Stroll and snack! We have made our way to the frozen food section. We are munching some spinach and mozzarella ravioli. And I hear a voice... singing. Who sings in Costco? It's a deep and rich and soulful voice. Not singing any particular song. Just singing. Yeah. Ye-ah. Ooooh, yeeeaah. The voice comes around the corner. He is dressed in a black shirt and black pants. He is fully aware that he is heard. I become aware that he is wanting to be heard but not in a showing off way. Just in a sharing way. I wanted to go sing with him. Latifa thought he was a little nuts. We continue strolling and snacking. He continues up and down the aisles. Hmmm. Hm Hm Hm. Yeeaah. Yee-aah. He is our Pied Piper. We are following him, enjoying the tune, the notes, the lack of words. When he leaves our ear shot, we wonder where he is and feel relieved to find him again. After passing up and down most of the aisles, I venture to speak to him... to tell him that I am enjoying his singer, that we want to follow him... so he sings... "Follow me, follow me, follow me!" He side hugs me, he dances, he laughs. He has won us both over. He is full of life. A song in his heart that he is sharing with anyone who wants to hear it. 2 days later, Latifa and I are still singing his song to each other. And it makes us smile and laugh. Music is powerful. It connects us, moves us. Several months ago, my family ventured out for dinner. Teagan got to choose and she was in a "Pizza Hut buffet!" phase. I'm at the salad bar. An older gentleman comes up behind me... and comments that I am humming. I hadn't even realized it!! But I was happy, enjoying the evening out with my kids and husband. So I was humming and singing quietly. He called attention to it and I stopped. In the quiet that followed his observation, he quickly corrects me. "Don't stop! I love to hear someone loving life enough to share it in a song!" So if you are loving life... sing it forward! Connect with others, touch someone else, bring a smile to someone's face. Sure there will be people who think you're weird. But they will secretly be wishing they had the same chutzpah. And someone will hear you and you will have brought a song into their day that may carry over for days to come! Sing it forward!

3 comments:

Amy said...

I have always dreamed of bursting out in song wherever the mood strikes. But I don't think I'd ever do it, unless I had a few nudges of liquid encouragement first. :)

Alix said...

Wow, Liz. That post grabbed me by both arms and shook me up a little! I had the EXACT same experience in Costco - no lie, I mean, seriously, no lie - a black man dressed all in black and singing softly but not too softly to himself up and down the aisles. His voice was full and rich and had the most lovely timber. He must be the Costco angel, cuz he sure gets around! I too told him how beautifully he sounded and he kind of winked knowingly at me. I'm pretty sure he must have been a music minister at one of the nearby churches... he had that churchy look which I love. So pure and unintimidated to sing outloud. We should all sing our songs aloud without ever looking over our shoulders... don't you think?

Liz said...

There really must be a Costco angel, sharing songs at Costco's the world over!! That is AMAZING!