Of Ukulele Covers and Stargazing

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It was 7:00 in the evening. My mind was humming Cristin Milioti’s version of La Vie En Rose from the famous TV series, How I Met Your Mother.

Hold me close and hold me fast
This magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

I felt the urge to play this song on my ukulele. I could not remember the chords, so I tried to play them by memory. It seemed that I had forgotten them as it had been ages since I last picked up my uke.

*Strum, strum, pluck.* When I finally got the hang of it, I continued to play other songs that I remembered and recorded them on my smartphone.

This would go on for the succeeding nights, like clockwork.

Sometimes, I listen to a full album or playlist under the stars on our garage, with Kylie, our Chow-chow, beside me, as if she’s sharing and feeling that same warm comfort that the solace of the night brings to me.

Whenever the news about the rising number of Covid cases overwhelm me, or when worries about the possibility of my brother or any of my family getting infected by the virus consume me, I turn to melodies and lyrics.

Sometimes, I feel guilty about how trivial my worries seem to be, compared to others who don’t even know how to stretch three-day’s worth of food to a week, or to how front liners have to grapple with being away from their loved ones and swallow the hard truth that they have to put their lives in danger to fulfill an oath.

Since we are facing a crisis, the first thing that gets affected negatively is our mental health. Recognizing and sitting with our feelings are the first steps to bringing balance to our thinking and our overall mental health.

We are allowed to not be okay.

As I found solace in music and space, I hope you can also find your own way to soothe your mind and heart, may it be through video calls with family members and friends, cooking sessions, gardening, exercise or supportive conversations with a friend.

Knowing that there are a lot of front liners, especially those in the medical field who keep on working against the virus, gives great encouragement for us to stay strong. I hope we can support them in any way we can and help those who find themselves in a situation of great need. Donation drives [if you have resources to spare], creative outputs, and our prayers can also go a long way.

There are a lot of changes and uncertainties in the world we are living in now. But it gives me comfort to know this:

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” -CS Lewis

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