As her hands moved through my hair, I felt the hands of time turning back. She braided my hair. I had been asking her for months to braid my hair, and she would laugh. One day I asked what is so funny she said I don”t do well with white hair. I looked at her in awe, my Latina curls bouncing in the light I said what are you talking about? Girl, please, you are going to do my hair! It is quarantine, and your hands are going to be able to do anyone’s hair by the time we are let out again. I grew up with my hair braided all the time! French braids, multiple braids, Beach braids, you know. Hot weather hair! We braid straight, curly, etc.! I felt younger and younger as she pulled. I even laughed, telling her to make it tighter so my wrinkles would stretch with every twist. I remembered moments of my youth in rollerblades laughing with my friend Carolina as we jay rolled. Crossing the street on our blades while rolling a joint! Miami in the early ’90s. When she finished, I looked in the mirror and laughed so hard as I looked shinny and young, my eyes sparkled, bringing even more attention to all my beautiful grey hair!
Song. Songs languages. Places Adventures… A song can take you back! I remember the songs from a kindergarten life in Miami, Florida, in the early ’80s. The hair was big, and nails had become a huge fashion statement. My friend’s mother had a fingernail that had its own earing dangling off the end. I never understood it, but I was mesmerized. My mother would wake me up to the song you are my sunshine with a heavy Colombian accent “Jew are my Sonshine. Jew are my Sonshine jew make me happy Jew know the rest.” Well, I loved and still love this song I hear it in a toy box and boom I am once again sitting next to my mother no matter where I am in the world. Play me some “Con mi burrito habanero Voy Camino de Bellen”, and there I have transported to Christmas time in Miami.
Today I play all kinds of songs and music. I mostly enjoy local talent and find myself lost when the radio is on. Most songs make me dance. my feet will move to any beat, even a car horn repeatedly can cause me to shake my booty. #latina. Within songs and memories are sensations at times my body sinks into the ground with the bass, and my feet need to be bare! I want to feel the earth between my toes. And other moments, I fly into a twirling sky with a violin. A song can have no lyrics, and yet I will sing, a song that can have no music, and however, we know it. Children sing repeating words they do not know or understand. 1 little 2 little 3 little Indians. Wondering whose culture they are learning. Songs that break our emotions apart songs that help us heal from loves lost. The power of a song to unite people. Songs of nostalgia and faith, love and hate, songs for every moment, silly songs for passing moments and most of all the songs that have been lost the languages that will never be heard again. Somewhere in the sky between the falling stars are these lost songs.
Let us keep singing our songs into the universe and moving our bodies to feel the connection to more than just self. We might be in isolation at the time, but we are more connected to our songs our people our planet than ever before. Keep sharing your song!