This is Adam.
Adam plays the bass for me.
Long, low notes ring out from his fingers, finding a rhythm in the melodies I created between the comfort of the walls of the old farm house. Adam’s bass is something I didn’t know my music needed until it was there.
And now I don’t know if I ever want to hear my songs without it.
Adam also plays the guitar.
Adam grew up between the sidewalks of our little hometown. While his limbs stretched toward the sky Adam was listening…to his mother’s singing voice and the beat of his big brother’s guitar, the way the waves of Lake Sakakawea sound when they hit the rocky shore and the buzz of his dad’s airplanes as they took off from the runway and into the sky above his home.
Adam is my little sister’s age, five years younger than me. I can’t help but look at him and think of him as a little boy, though I was just a little girl myself in some of those memories.
Adam doesn’t say much, so I’ll tell you what I know:
Adam plays the bass and the guitar and the harmonica and the banjo and probably a thousand other instruments. Adam sings songs about the North Dakota badlands and that big lake where he’s caught a thousand fish. Adam plays music about big trucks and dirt roads and whiskey with friends around campfires, on front porches, in bars and on stages, anywhere there are ears to listen.
Adam climbs mountains and rides the snow down. Adam balances on rope strung between trees. Adam brings his own beer to the party in a little blue cooler. He wears a green jacket and is waiting for me to bring him some garden tomatoes so he can make salsa.
Adam makes salsa and plays the bass guitar for me.
Sometimes I listen to those notes and I think the things Adam loves are too big for our little town.
Adam flies airplanes in the sky above his lake,
above his badlands
and above the oak groves of this ranch.
He buzzes over the landscape that grew him tall and lean.
And because Adam doesn’t say much I’ll tell you what I think:
I think if you asked him Adam would make you a jar of salsa.
I think if you wanted he would take you fishing and play you a song on his banjo.
He might even play the bass in your band.
And I think he would take you flying. If you asked, I think he would.
I think Adam likes the way his world looks up there.
Because from up there, the things Adam loves are just the right size…