Soaring High – Essay

By Ann Winschel

My Mom sang around the house a lot, mostly songs she heard on the radio, and I picked up the habit.  She was from a small, German-Catholic farming community in southeastern Missouri where I once scored cred with one of my many cousins because I was able to correctly identify the song the band was playing as one by Hank Williams, Sr.  Hank must had a Quaker sensibility to write lyrics like this

The silence of a falling star

Lights up a purple sky

One day, just about ten years ago, I was in my car, alone, trying to sing along with the radio.  I couldn’t.  Nothing music-like would come out of my mouth.  As I sat there trying to croak out that song I realized that it had been years since I had sung in my car – or in my home.  That did it.  Gave me the clarity and courage to see that it was time to leave, I could no longer stay in a marriage that was so stifling I had even lost the ability to sing.

Talk about feather’s flying, it was the divorce from hell.  When things had more or less settled down I bought a new car and began to travel.  I went on several solo, 4-6 weeks long road trips to the West Coast, singing along with my music all the way.  I drove white-knuckled over breathless mountain passes, got rained on in Death Valley, and once I found myself in the Mojave Desert when the spring flowers were in bloom.

There is a lot of country between here and the Pacific Ocean so sometimes I flew over all those mountains and deserts.  On one trip, while I was high in the air, an old friend, whom I had lost touch with, sent me a series of rambling text messages.  Most of it didn’t make much sense but one part was clear.  Please come.  So I did.  That was the beginning of a long distance romance.  The song reflects the high hopes we both had for the relationship.  It didn’t work out in the end, but thats a story for another song, one that is still waiting to be written.

Now I sing all day long, the same two lines over and over and over.  Drives me, and anyone else within earshot, crazy.  It is fabulous.