The carousel horse music box is stored in a box now, waiting to be unpacked. Its music box is broken, and the horse is a bit off kilter - it's aged less than gracefully. But although it's not in working order, the tune that once lulled me to sleep as a child isn't the least bit broken. It plays in my mind.
I hear bits and pieces, intertwined with memories of my childhood. Milkshakes and sleepovers with Grandpa and Grandpa. Helping Dad build a swingset in the backyard. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Decorating the Christmas Tree. Searching for Easter candy behind the stereo speakers. Spending hour after hour in the backyard when summer days lasted forever and we never got tired. Dad's mustache. Mom's laugh. The Sister's freckles.
Lying in the dark of my pale blue room as my music box sang me to sleep.
I've never been able to find another music box that played the same tune, although that may be for a lack of trying. I never imagined there was a way to reproduce the tune of my childhood. How do you replicate it? What if it doesn't exist? Maybe The Sister and I had the only carousel horse music boxes designed specifically for our lives.
I meandered through Target during the holidays last year, picking up holiday music boxes and snow globes at random, eager for the familiar tune. It wasn't there. When I got home that night, I pulled my carousel horse off the shelf, wound it up, and listened to the broken tune, fading in and out as the horse attempted to spin in circles.
The music box was no more. And the tune was lost.
A year later, last night, I was back at Target, marveling over the Christmas trees and ornaments. Christmas time mostly always turns me into a sap, so I felt like a kid again. As I shuffled past ornaments and stockings, I came upon a shelf covered in music box snowglobes. At random, again, I picked one up, turned it over, and wound it up.
And there it was. The tune.
I held the snowglobe in my hand in amazement as it played my childhood before me. I couldn't, and still can't, believe I found it. The tag listed the song as "Carousel Waltz." The song of my childhood has a name, and the snowglobe in my hand has my childhood.
Glitter dances around a small, pewter angel inside, and inscribed at the base are these words: "Dance like no one's watching, love like you've never been hurt and sing like no one's listening."
The snowglobe now sits on my lone shelf at my temporary home. It's joined the very few things I've left unpacked while I wait to move to The Middle. And if I want it to, it can lull me to sleep.