Every other Monday I drive from Dana Point to Newport to lead a sing-along at a “Memory Care” unit. On a recent afternoon, I was oblivious to the crashing waves and the soaring seabirds. News on the radio was again filled with conflict, fear and distain for “the other.” I felt discouraged when I arrived at my destination. Inside, old folks greet me as I strap on my guitar. It takes a while to get everyone’s attention, but soon we are all singing together. “I’ve been workin’ on the rail-road all the live long day…” The songs roll by. Time for snacks. Nearby, an old man sleeps in a plush chair. “Clara,”my boss, is as impeccably dressed as a Newport matron. She crouches on the carpet and whispers in the old guy’s ear. She doesn’t want him to miss his jello. She spoon feeds him the orange treat. Pure bliss! Her eyes well up for a moment and suddenly I am filled with hope, a witness to strength and love.

by Nathaniel