This past weekend I was driving down the road, Chicago 17 blasting out of my car stereo. Next thing I knew I was eleven years old and "discovering" Chicago for the first time all over again. My life has changed substantially since then-- friends have come and gone, relatives have passed away, I've relocated nearly 900 miles away from where I grew up, been in love a few times, had my heart broken nearly as many, even managed to break a heart myself, gotten married, and now the latest turn on my life's journey-- fatherhood.
But in all that mileage of the twenty plus years of life since I initially "discovered" Chicago (back when my allowance started taking a sharp shift away from toys and towards music) they have been my beacon, my compass, and my warm blanket. It's that music from those early formative years of my life starting in my late "tweens" that has been my constant.
It's little wonder than when the chips are down and things aren't going well that I find tremendous comfort in their music-- especially those albums from the eighties that came out during those still innocent days of my youth.
This past weekend was no different. Without going into detail I've hit a bit of a rough patch and there are some days when it gets me down a bit more than others. So I popped in a CD that is much more an old friend to me than it is a mere piece of music. And, for a few minutes at least, I was a young carefree eleven year old and I was falling in love with that music for the first time all over again. And in spite of my troubles of late, I was able to find my smile again. My smile is also a friend, but one that has visited far less frequently of late. It was good to see him again.