fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Songs of the season lift the spirit, fill the soul

Some people love the sight of Christmas lights and decorations. Others love the smells and tastes of special holiday treats. It's the sounds of the season I love best.

My Rogue River cottage is filled with song. "What Child is This?" — a duet by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige. Next comes an old crooner classic, Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." Less famous songs are favorites, too, including Amy Grant's " 'Til the Season Comes 'Round Again."

Maybe it's the melodies of Christmas carols I find so joyful. Maybe it's their message of love and hope I find so uplifting. Maybe it's because these songs come around only a few weeks each year — and stir up so many special memories.

One recent freezing cold night on a busy city street in Grants Pass, a small band of teen carolers drifted amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers.

About to head home after participating in a First Friday Artwalk showing, little did I know I was about to receive an unexpected gift — a lifetime sensory memory.

Strains of "The First Noel" drifted toward the shop's alcove in puffy white clouds as the singers' breath formed perfectly blended harmonies. The closer the teens came, the more amazing they sounded.

From grade school to college to churches, I've sung in many a choir. Some were pretty good, too. But when I say these kids were good, I mean they sounded like a choir of angels. Literally. (OK, so I've never actually heard a choir of angels, but I doubt it could sound any sweeter.)

They looked neither left nor right as they walked along. They simply sang.

I stopped breathing, hoping to absorb their song into my soul.

After the small group passed, I slowly exhaled. Then peeked over at the gentleman standing next to me.

Tears welled in his eyes.

"That was really something," the man said, shaking his head at his emotional reaction.

"I want them to come back," he said.

"I want to follow them," I replied, rubbing the goosebumps off my arms.

We were two strangers sharing a bit of auditory heaven before the sounds of traffic and the chatter of passersby filled our ears once again.

The man moved on up the street with a smile and a wave. I continued schlepping paintings to my nearby car with a lighter step.

But when I returned to the alcove for another load, a different band of carolers had filled the space. The large group of adult voices were raised in song. Their harmonies were good, although not nearly as good as the teens'.

Perhaps that's why I decided to chime in. The Lord said make a joyful noise. He didn't say it had to be pitch perfect. Before I could talk myself out of the sudden notion, alto harmonies from choirs past surged into my frontal lobe — and out of my mouth.

"Angels we have heard on high ... ."

A blond man in a Nordic sweater nodded approval and offered to share his music. We sang a couple more holiday songs together before his group moved on up the street.

"You should come with us," the baritone urged.

It was a kind and tempting offer. Maybe next year. If I'm not looking for the voices of angels.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.