I woke up in a musical

Ever sit down to enjoy the next episode in a tv series only to find out the episode was a musical? Though many times I see these musical episodes as slightly annoying speed bumps on the path to an eagerly anticipated resolution, life is funny, and today those musical episodes resonated with my morning.  I woke up in a musical where my life had its own soundtrack I did not quite control, but it all had a coherent theme: “El tiempo pasa”.On most mornings, I wake up at 5:12am  to go for a morning jog at the speed of walking. I marvel at the stars in the sky above me or the trees and flowers if the daylight is breaking. This morning I could still see Jupiter and Venus amidst some high clouds. But as I headed back home I saw the faint return of sunrises around 6am and from within me I heard


I took a picture of the dawn breaking, but it was still too faint to capture. I sprang upstairs to tell the boys…¡Amanece! but lamented my voice could not do justice to the beautiful echoing sound that was etched in a mostly forgotten corner of my childhood memories. What song is it? I could not name the singer, nor sing any further, but I could hum parts of it.

On my cel I googled only that: Amanece, and there it was ready to play for all to hear. I went to each room of the house and played it. “Isn’t it lovely!” I went downstairs and to ready breakfast and connected over bluetooth with the speakers that would fill the morning with repeated performances of “Amanecer Boricua” by Danny Rivera. Over breakfast we analyzed the merit of the song and the artist.  Why and how had this song become a classic that was able to survive decades unvisited but present still within reach of a random recall of cultural memory? In the car on the way to school I read the boys the Wikipedia page on Danny Rivera.

Once they were out of the car, I turned on the news radio. Nothing interesting was being reported on, so my thoughts went on to ponder on how fast the kids were growing. This week Jaimito would be getting his drivers license. This was good. I would have more time to work, money was tight, debts were racking up, something had to change. By the same token, Jaimito driving also signalled my days of driving them around would soon be over. But it would be only for a while, until he went to college. Then I would drive around the Javier and Asier, for a couple more years. With each passing year my mornings with my children were coming to an end. Olaia had a big interview on campus, today. She was already on a path that took her away from home.

On the radio they were talking about politicians lobbying Congress to protect cockfighting in Puerto Rico.  They informed the public that this industry was the second largest segment in animal farming. How to help this industry with the inevitable change.  As time has passed, awareness of animal cruelty has grown and it seemed to me a loosing proposition to try to exempt local practice. We need to adapt to the changing times, I thought.

El tiempo pasa

An old faded green pickup truck pulled up next to me on a stop light. Its windows were down and blazing from the car was this delightful salsa I knew, I knew but could not identify. Arghh the singer, the title were lost to me, but I recognized the words and melody and it was a lovely poignant salsa song about the passing of time.  I turned the radio off, waiting to recognize the title. I drove slower so we could meet at the next light.  I marveled at how the lyrics addressed friendship, love, and life.

As soon as I finished my drive, I took a moment to search out that familiar velvety voice and the salsa about time… Was it Gilberto Santa Rosa? Was it Glenn Monroig?… I could not find the song.  I found Tony Vega’s “Dame Tiempo“. I listened to Willy Chirino’s “Todo pasa.” But I could not find the song I had heard. It was so familiar, so delightful, but like it came it went. It was a funny coincidence whose time had passed.

Reminded of the time needed to get to work, I closed my musical morning with the upbeat request for more time put to words and song by  Victor Manuelle with the guest appearance of Juan Luis Guerra: “Quiero Tiempo” !!