Let the music play

By Ron Hevener

Illustrated by Ron Hevener

Funny, how we never seem to know what's just around the corner. We go
about our lives: working, laughing, loving . . . and we never know how
our life is going to turn out. I know this doesn't sound like the
goal-oriented thinkers that I encourage people to be. I encourage animal
lovers to be their best and to reach as high as they possibly can. After
all, if we don't reach for the stars, how can we ever touch them? Yes, I
know ... Childish words .

Maybe it's the moody weather outside as I'm writing this, here in
Michigan, on a horse farm that has seen better days and certainly has
its woes . maybe, for just a while, as I look at broken fences and barns
begging for paint, I know how much we need those hopes and dreams I'm
always talking about. That's when I turn on the radio.

I let the music play as we're getting ready for a show. Not just any
show, but a show that's become important to everybody around here.
What's so important about it this time? This time, it's important just
to be there. It's important to let everyone see that we're still in the
game. It's important for us, ourselves, to know we're still in the game,
I think to myself, as the music plays.

Animal lovers are very different from other people. When life throws
road blocks at us, we can't stop and pity ourselves if it's taking
longer now to get where we want to go. Unlike our friends, we don't have
that luxury. Yes, of course, we can pull over and pity ourselves for a
while. But, we can't do it for long. We can't pity ourselves for long
because we've got other lives depending on us.

Maybe it's just a puppy or a kitten. Maybe it's a horse. Maybe it's a
whole kennel or a cattery or an aviary or a farm. The point is: The show
can only go on if we get out of bed in the morning, put one foot in
front of the other, and do whatever we have to do to keep the bills paid
and the animals fed.

Animal lovers are people with big hearts. Sometimes, those hearts are
too big for our own good. It doesn't matter how late we stayed up last
night, reading or watching TV or talking on the phone until we fell
asleep . it doesn't matter how long we stayed out . it doesn't matter
what we thought, or said, or dreamed last night.

Do you hear the rooster crowing? It's time to get up again . time to
make eggs and pancakes . time to pour some coffee. What matters is that
we get up, feed our pets and all the rest of the animals that depend on
us. What matters is that we sing to the radio and fill the place with
music -- all the way from the floor to the rafters and out every window
into the world around us.

Animals like music. They like the sound and the feeling of it. They
like the way music goes through their skin and all the way into their
soul and they are very true about what they like to hear. Sometimes,
they like soft music; other times, they like a great symphony. As a
singer, I know the best songs are ones that animals like to hear. I've
heard of singers letting their animals pick the songs they record in the
studio. I'm one of those singers. Of the many songs I've recorded over
the years, the most successful were the ones my animals liked best. "I
Wish You Love" was one of those songs.

Funny, how music fills us with emotion . Funny, how our animals do the
same thing . Why is that?

I don't know. I don't know the answer to that any more than I know the
answer to the mystery that brings new life into the world, keeps it
going for a while, and then takes it away . I just don't know.

What I do know (and I know it no matter what happens) is that, as long
as I have animals, I will have something to do. I will never wonder what
is happening today, or tomorrow. I know my animals will need fed,
watered, groomed and cared for. I know I'll do my best for them . and
I'll let the music play.

Written & Illustrated by Ron Hevener