Susan's Blog

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Boy Who Sang Like the Wind

Once upon a time, there was a very young mother with a tiny baby boy. At first the boy was happy, but he became very sad and quiet at times. The very young mother, who loved him very much, was worried and sad and did not know what to do for him.

She asked her mother what to do. “He’s beautiful,” her mother said, for she could see all of the boy’s magic, but she did not know how to summon it. “Give him other children to play with and you’ll see, he will be happy once more.”

So the very young mother went out to the garden where other little boys and girls were playing. The boys and girls were so happy. Their smiles ran free and light like wet watercolor paint. But the little boy was different. The sad little boy would not play with the others.

The young mother thought she should keep him safe in their little home with her.

But the little boy became more and more quiet and unhappy. The boy’s face was so beautiful, his hair shone like gold, but the mother worried because she knew that her son did not understand the world he was in, and that’s why he had gone quiet and still. She asked her wise old grandmother what to do. “He’s beautiful,” the old grandmother said, for she could see all of his wisdom but she did not know how to bring it forth. “He just needs you more now that the baby is here. Play with him more.” But the very young mother was playing and playing all day long and sometimes at night. Nothing would make her little boy happy or take him out of his silence.

The very young mother took her little boy to the wise man, who said that the boy was indeed growing differently from other children. And though he was the wisest man in the town, he still could not tell her what to do for him, except to get him to a school.

The young mother took the little boy to school. By then her heart had become as deep as the ocean, dark and lonely. The only thing that made her happy was her little babies, and yet her oldest son had no smile.

The teachers were very kind and learned women, who showed him pictures, letters, numbers. They read him stories. They sang him songs. They threw balls to him. Eventually, bit by bit, the little boy learned how to smile there at the school.

For many years the boy was able to make his face smile, but his mother, no longer young, knew deep down in her heavy heart that his real smile was deep inside him. She did not know how to make it come out.

Then one day the mother heard something strange. It was music, a song she’d never heard before. It had a rushing sound, like summer rain. She followed the sound and there she found another little boy playing music on a violin, with his father. This boy was like her son somehow; his smile was not like the smiles of other children. His smile was not for the outside but for the inside. And the mother had never seen this before, but still she knew that it did not matter — because it was a real smile, nevertheless.

She thought this was because he could make music. She sat there listening and listening to the song of the musical boy and she felt the ocean inside of her rise, up, up into the sunlight. She hurried to ask, “Can my little boy play music sweet like the rain, too?” And the father said, “Oh, yes, I’m sure he will like it.”

The father told her to take the little boy to a forest clearing where some young men and women sat in a circle playing music into the night. All around them were instruments of all kinds: drums, pianos, violins, guitars, and even some that the mother had never seen. The song rang out in all kinds of colors and sounds. At times the mother felt should could taste the music. And then, when they finished their song, the young musicians looked at her unsmiling little boy, and they said, “He is beautiful. What an amazing smile he has.” And they gave him a drum.

The boy played the drum next to the other boy and their music filled the forest. Their music was the forest in a thunderstorm. The mother watched and sometimes she thought she saw a tiny smile tugging at the corners of her son’s mouth. She brought him back to the forest every day and watched him from the shelter of some old beech trees.

Then there came a day when the boy put down the drum and stood up. He opened his mouth and sang his song, from deep within mountain caves. His voice was like none other she’d ever heard. It was tuneless, like the wind, and yet it stirred the leaves with its great power.

As the boy sang, the deep sea made its way out of her, through her eyes, and she cried and cried while her boy sang the song of the forest.

And when the boy finished that song, his smile broke free at last. It shone from his hair, his eyes, even his teeth. His hands smiled, too, opening and closing with a great energy. No one had ever seen a smile like that, because it had come from so far inside that it shone like diamonds from the deepest mine.

The mother knew it was time to leave, and she made her way back to her hut, her heart light and free. Now, at last, she could live out her years in peace.

And if she listens carefully, even in the deepest darkest night, she can always hear her son singing with the others in the forest, bringing the wind, the rain, and the sun.




Evokes very strongly Pat Rothfuss’ “The Name of the Wind”. Outstanding … thank you for sharing.

— added by Jim on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 12:19 am

Hi Susan,

Indeed the wind was beautiful, pure joy. The concerts were magical, and thanks for promoting them. This post made me cry.

— added by Minako on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 12:38 am

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