This morning I have been whistling snippets of Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This pleased me because I love that music and because I was happy to note that I was whistling again. I haven’t whistled much these last years. I think maybe one has to be more lighthearted than I am or have a younger mouth than I do. In any case, this morning’s whistling sounded pretty good to me.
I started whistling when I was very young. I remember wandering around the backyard in Detroit just whistling. I don’t know how I learned to whistle, but I was proud of my skill. I did love to whistle Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah long before I understood the baggage that went with the song. My dad was a whistler, too. Sometimes, when we were stuck waiting in the car, Dad would whistle to amuse us children. He would whistle Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance and other war horses.
When I was in college, I used to whistle as I walked home alone at night from class or the library, but it wasn’t because I was scared. It was because it was dark, maybe a little damp, and because the music I made sounded beautiful to me. I whistled the love theme from Zeffirelli’s movie Romeo and Juliet, various bits from Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites, “I am a Maid of Constant Sorrow,” and, of course, the Sabre Dance.
For many years, I whistled a bit of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, ditties from medieval Christmas music, and whatever else my ear and mouth could pick up.
Late this morning, it finally dawned on me why I was whistling the Mendelssohn. It was Midsummer yet again, 42 years after Tom and I were married in Salt Lake City. That was long before life became so–I don’t know, less a romantic ideal and more visceral and earnest. We were lucky then with our dear family and friends with us to celebrate and we are lucky now to have each other still, even if the whistling is halting and off-key.
I don’t know if I ever whistled this song, but I surely sang it through all these years:
What I’ll give you since you asked
Is all my time together;
Take the rugged sunny days,
The warm and rocky weather,
Take the roads that I have walked along,
Looking for tomorrow’s time,
Peace of mind.
As my life spills into yours,
Changing with the hours
Filling up the world with time,
Turning time to flowers,
I can show you all the songs
That I never sang to one man before.
We have seen a million stones lying by the water,
You have climbed the hills with me
To the mountain shelter.
Taken off the days, one by one,
Setting them to breathe in the sun.
Take the lilies and the lace
From the days of childhood,
All the willow winding paths
Leading up and outward.
This is what I give
This is what I ask you for;
Judy Collins, “Since You’ve Asked,” Wildflowers, 1967
That was awesome. I love Judy Collins. Takes me back to a more innocent time (though we weren’t all that innocent). Thank you once again Lynda. Oh, and I whistle because it takes me away from the troubles of the world besides making me happy.
Thanks so much, Art,
I have loved Judy Collins since, well since back then. Not only can you whistle, you can sing, what luck! When are you heading up to the rim?
August 13th for 4 nights. Wish you both could be there. Should experience some spectacular monsoon thunder storms during our stay. At least I hope so.
I hope to make it to Point Sublime this time. Never have seen it. There was a fire the last time and we couldn’t get there.
Sounds wonderful. Enjoy those wonderful storms, hahaha, but please don’t go out to the overlooks (like we used to) when there is a thunderstorm!
Remember how the static electricity would make your hair stand on end.? What were we thinking?
Exactly! How dumb were we?
BTW. A very nice pic of you two. I am going to save it.
Haha, well maybe, but it is one of the few of the two of us out hiking.
Lovely. Happy two such good people found each other.
Thanks for the kind words, Ruth. Yes, it was good luck (or whatever) that we met.
“Since You’ve Asked” is a perfect theme song for your life together. Congratulations on 42 years and best wishes for the road ahead. Oh, and I like to whistle or sing in public restrooms. I’m sure I’m regarded as an oddity, but I love the echo.
It was great to see you and Steve in Michigan. Hope to see you next August. Hahaha, I worked at a place that drove me nuts in DC, but I loved whistling in the tacky stairwell!
Beautiful! Like you. Happy anniversary. Wishing you many more years of whistling and singing together.
Thank you, dear friend,for your kind wishes. We plan on it, and cooking and hiking, too!