|Our Engineer - far right.|
Our son, an army engineer, was on his Combat Leadership course.
It was gruelling.
Months of training.
An adrenaline rush of enacting scenarios.
Digging in and getting dirty.
And added to the daily duty roster, morning inspections.
Not only must they learn how to survive, even thrive in battle situations, they had to look good while they did it.
So each evening, after dinner, was spent in cleaning oneself and one's gear in preparation for inspection directly after breakfast the next morning.
For the most part, the soldiers enjoyed it.
It was a chance to unwind.
Kibitz around a bit.
Laugh and joke.
And keep their adrenalin up with pounding, exhilarating music.
At least that was what they called it.
Loud. Fast. Heavy.
Followed immediately by bed.
Needless to say, it took some time to wind down.
Except for our son.
Whose choice of music was a little more . . . conservative.
He would drift away almost immediately to the soft, soothing strains of Loreena McKennitt.
One evening some time after lights out, the men were restless.
Knowing that their morning would come fast, not to mention early, they were anxious to get some needed sleep.
And it was proving elusive.
Again, except for our son, who had his stereo by his ear and had already drifted away.
One of the soldiers noticed.
It had given him an idea.
The next evening, the group completed their usual day-end tasks.
To their usual music.
Then crawled into their bunks.
Lights were doused.
Then, out of the darkness, a voice.
“Hey, Tolley. Play us some of your music.”
Our son turned up the song he was currently listening to.
Within seconds the sounds of snoring filled the dorm.
After that, immediately following lights-out, the strains of choice were something soft.
The magic of music.