August 31 – just under the wire for posting my August Bloggers for Peace post. It’s been a hard month – lots of new things going on, and lots of scary things. This post was the farthest thing from my mind until this afternoon when I finally got to relax and think a bit.
What’s funny is, when I realized it was the last day of August and I hadn’t done my Peace post, I also realized the topic for August is perfect for what I experienced this month. For this month’s Peace Challenge, Kozo Hattori asked bloggers to invoke the power of music: post a song or video of a song that has brought peace to your world.
The story of the song I’m going to talk about goes back 17 years, to a vacation my husband and I took in Hawaii in 1996. We were planning to start a family, and we hoped this would be the last vacation we took as just two.
At the time, a Hawaiian singer named John Cruz had just released an album that included what was becoming a very popular song: Island Style. No matter where we went, enjoying the sunshine and breeze as we cruised in our rented convertible, we heard his song: “On the island, we do it island style. From the mountain to the ocean from the windward to the leeward side …”
For us, this song became the epitome of our vacation: peace, happiness, the joy of being with each other, looking forward to starting something new, and basking in the loveliness that is Hawaii. We bought the CD, Acoustic Soul, and it stayed a favorite even after vacation was long finished. I’d play it at home, in the car – everywhere, and every time I’d hear Island Style especially, I’d remember the wonder of our vacation.
About a year later, our daughter, Natalie, was born. She was a very easy baby, but she did have her moments. I remember one time especially … she was only a few weeks old, it was the middle of the night, she was up and fussy, and I was exhausted. Trying to find some peace and center, I turned on the stereo and fired up Island Style. Almost immediately, Natalie quieted down. Breathing a sigh of relief, I rocked her until she was fully asleep. I put her down, and – you guessed it. Crying baby.
We went through it all again – and again, and again. I’d turn on the music, she’d quiet and fall asleep, I’d put her down, she’d cry. Perhaps if I hadn’t been so sleep-deprived, I would have seen the pattern sooner: she loved Island Style.
We, of course, were thrilled: our daughter loved our music! Acoustic Soul became the go-to CD for comforting Natalie; within seconds of it starting, she’d quiet and listen. And every time my husband and I would hear it, we’d enjoy the peace it brought as well. To this day, the music from that CD can make Natalie sleepy and give my husband and myself a wonderful sense of well-being.
So no wonder, when stress and fear hit this past month, I turned to Acoustic Soul and, specifically, Island Style. I took the CD in the car with me; like always, I reveled in the memories and serenity it can still bring to the surface with its first notes.
“On the island, we do it island style. From the mountain to the ocean from the windward to the leeward side …” Thank you, John Cruz, for creating such a beautiful “peace” of music.
Enjoy John Cruz’ video below – and also enjoy these posts about music from other Bloggers for Peace: