GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH IN THE 1940s – My Healing Song
On Facebook, Paul Luftenegger mentioned the healing quality of music. His music certainly is!
Thinking of music’s capacity to heal reminded me of a song I sing almost daily and have done so all of my life. When feeling down I sing it … when feeling joyful, I sing it … when I just want to sing, I sing it.
As a child growing up in the South, two of the people I loved most were black. My eyes fill with tears as I remember them.
Mozell helped take care of my sister and me during the 1940’s. Her name describes the pedestal on which I placed her. Mozell is the feminine form of Moses and originates from Hebrew. During WWII, we had food rationing stamps. Walking to the corner drugstore with Mozell was a real treat. I can still feel the sensation of holding Mozell’s hand and approaching the drug store with great anticipation … maybe they would have some chocolate—the ultimate of rationed treats! However, chocolate is not my point. What I feel as I remember Mozell is her love … how it always felt safe to walk with Mozell … to have her hold my hand.
I also loved “Uncle Remus.” As a child, I did not look at Mozell or Uncle Remus and think racism. I intuited their kindness … their love. That’s why, this morning, while thinking of my “healing song,” tears filled my eyes. As an adult, I can see how racism was rampant in a world where I knew love. Although I loved Mozell and Uncle Remus, they were simultaneously experiencing the hate that racism creates. I also know that it was Mozell’s love and tender caring for my sister and I that led me, as an adult, to intuit: “It will be a black man who leads this nation into the New Golden Age.”
That the goodness I knew is tainted with racism breaks my heart.
I share my “healing song” enfolded with the love that molded my childhood. I remember when my family moved across town and Mozell could no longer walk to our home. One day, Mother told us, “Mozell is coming to see you.” I can still feel the joy and excitement—“Mozell was coming!!!”
So as you listen to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” please focus on the love … the companionship … the attunement with nature … the joy at being alive and sharing life together!
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