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Sing your heart out, even if you can’t carry a tune

Nina London has discovered the joy of singing out loud (Photograph by Lana Leksina)

The Great Sound was calm and still as a mirror. The sun was peeping over the horizon and the indigo of twilight crept west with a scattering of stars before the brilliance of the newborn day.

I sat peacefully in my kayak, a stone’s throw from our little whitewashed cottage on Cavello Bay. I took a deep breath and, in blissful disregard of my sleeping neighbours, sang opera as powerfully as any diva on a world stage.

There was only one problem: I can’t sing. Let me put it more clearly: I can sing but despite my passionate efforts, I cannot carry a tune. I was inspired, but not gifted with the voice that the masterpiece demanded.

Birds fluttered nervously, fleeing over the hilltop. I finished my rendition and an uncanny stillness reigned. From the silence giggles and then outright laughter, floated across the water from the nearby shore. Bill and Ava were laughing hysterically, while getting ready to catch the ferry to school.

They motioned frantically for me to return to shore, looking apprehensively at the hillside of dark and quiet houses above the bay. I suddenly realised my inconsiderate outburst and paddled quickly to shore.

The interesting thing is, however, I felt wonderful. My body tingled and I felt totally alive as a warm happiness spread from my solar plexus to my fingertips.

In that moment, I realised the “power of song”.

From that day on, I would surprise Ava and Bill with sudden outbursts of off-key opera; usually when we were sitting quietly around the fireplace, or reading silently in our rooms. Without fail, they would double over with laughter. I had a gift, but it was not opera.

Since then, when I am feeling stressed or emotionally wrung out, I seek a place on the South Shore, near where we live now, and sing for all I am worth into the wind. Into the wind with the waves crashing and a measure of privacy that does not disturb anyone nearby.

Like laughter, singing heartily charges my body with oxygen and endorphins. Miraculously, I feel better. I am completely uncritical of my performance. I know it sounds hilarious and I should be embarrassed but I am not. I am “singing my heart out” as they say and, believe me, I feel so much better afterwards! I highly recommend it, although please do not do it at dawn on a still and calm day!

I have often thought that it speaks so highly of Bermudians that no one complained that long-ago morning at Cavello Bay. I guess tolerance is part of our island lifestyle and it makes me appreciate even more the magic of living here among people who value getting along with their neighbours; perhaps everyone is allowed an eccentric outburst from time to time.

My advice in this column is to just try my “singing therapy”. Obviously, everyone can do it and you feel so much better!

We are taught to be self-conscious about our voices. People are often shy about singing. But if you have no other goal than feeling better and you find that special private place, give it a try!

You may even end up singing like a diva, even if it is only in your dreams.

Nina London is the founder of Mermaid Wellness Centre for Women and a certified Chi Gong and Laughter Yoga teacher. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their bodies and mind. Contact her at www.mermaidwellness.com and on Instagram: mermaid_wellness

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Published May 11, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated May 11, 2023 at 1:58 pm)

Sing your heart out, even if you can’t carry a tune

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