“Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.” — Oscar Wilde

We are united in many ways, but it is through music that our hearts become entwined in a communicative dance that implores reflection and understanding.

I drink deeply from music’s spring, which yields the purest water and replenishes my thirsty mind and heart in times of joy, hope, sadness and despair.

It is the spring from which I drink freely and often, for music ignites a flame of creativity in my soul and takes me to a higher plane of thought and expression.

Although I’m not musically inclined, I possess a deep appreciation for the fine art of music in all its facets — encompassing composition, songwriting and performing — and for the individuals who are gifted in these areas.

My love of music stems from childhood, listening to the music my parents played in the car and at home, and I eventually played on our turntable, cassette players and stereos.

These positive experiences were further enhanced by the music classes at Northville Elementary School and the now-closed John Pettibone School in New Milford, where we were introduced to a variety of instruments, including the xylophone and metallophone, and eventually my favorite, the recorder.

It was exciting. We were able to explore, create and express.

It’s no surprise that our 5-year-old daughter says her favorite class is music (with art as a close second, as it was mine) because she likes to sing.

There is much depth behind such a simple statement.

Music is a beautiful form of expression, a powerful form of storytelling, a unifying force, and an art form that deserves to be widely celebrated, along with the other arts, even more than it is already in our school systems.

It is a profound method by which we communicate and comprehend the world around us, the people around us and, even ourselves.

What I find — and I think most of us find — beautiful about music is its ability to draw us in, to evoke emotion and take our thoughts and minds to a higher plane.

I’ve been known to listen to a song repeatedly (and often maybe a little excessively) because of what it stirs in me, simply because music has the power to calm, heal and inspire.

Another beautiful aspect of music is its experiential and personal components.

Once we hear a certain piece of music, it becomes part of our personal story.

It touches each one of us differently because our experiences and emotional state are as unique as snowflakes.

Yet ironically, it is that very difference among us that inexplicably links us together as a people, enabling us to connect to the message conveyed in a song — instrumentally, vocally or lyrically, or some combination — and ultimately realize commonalities in our humanity.

As a wordsmith, lyrics play a significant role in how a musical piece touches my heart. But lyrics are just one component of music.

Upon recently listening to a new album, I wrote:

“I drink of the flame of mystery that flickers as every beat, every lyric and every pause — woven with a sophisticated grace like that of the spider’s web — yields a richness of color unlike those of past canvasses, a color that in this momentary lapse of consciousness evokes the strangest sensation of comprehension and challenges previously known depths of creativity in a way even the brightest star cannot deny.”

Every instrument, every note and every pause in a song is integral in that piece of music and adds to the mysteriously captivating beauty it expresses.

During two mission trips to Mozambique in the early 2000s, I often admired and watched my Mozambican friends shuffle their feet in traditional African dance as they sang — in a tongue I did not understand — with a passion words fail to convey.

The spirit they exuded in song transcended our language barrier, and I felt grace in the deepest part of my soul.

It brought tears to my eyes.

When our hearts and minds are touched by music, emotions, inspiration, creativity, expression and so much more flourish within us as a gift so pure and rich, and we emit its beauty from our soul as the light we share with the world around us.

Deborah Rose; 860-355-7324; drose@newmilford.com