We have new next door neighbors. The nice teacher couple with their two dogs left, and a nice couple with a toddler moved in. With new neighbors there come new noises. It used to be the noises of my dogs and their dogs getting into tense arguments through the fence.
Now we hear the little girl playing. She plays very loudly. We can hear her tea parties, hunting parties, and backyard musings. The best, however, is in the morning at 8:30. I sit next to the window that is closest to my neighbor’s backyard and open the window and wait.
It starts with guitar music. The guitar is not well played, just strummed over and over again. At this my spouse and I look at each other because we know the song has begun. At the top of her lungs, the tiny child shouts as loud as she can. There is no tune but there is a rhythm set by the strums of the guitar. She sings a few verses, wandering around the backyard with her guitar, not knowing or caring if anyone is listening. After a few verses, she breaks it down with long crooning solos. This is the best part of the song, and she knows it. She belts it out, strumming, walking, while my spouse and I laugh and think about our own kids at this age, or when we were that age.
The first time this happened we were amazed. The second time we laughed to realize it happened again. It’s gone on for weeks now, and we plan for it every morning. We need this little girl in our lives.
Do you know why this kid does this every day? Because she knows who she is. She’s a guitarist, and a singer. She doesn’t have to listen to anyone else tell her what she ought to do – a grace we should extend to everyone, not just young children. To know who we are and display it boldly is an act of spiritual maturity, something many of us knew as children but eventually denied ourselves for many different reasons. Take courage this month to know who you are and perhaps, every morning at 8:30, pick up a guitar, and proclaim it loudly to the world.
What people need is not a version of you that you think would please them, they need YOU. Loudly, with or without tune, just YOU. Make it so!