Through each month until August, I will miss it


The pretty sunrise in a first hour marching band rehearsal.

13 weeks. 91 days. 2184 hours. 131,040 minutes. 7,862,400 seconds. 

I found a reason that quickly. I found a family that quickly. I found true laughter that quickly. I found a smile that quickly. I found a life that quickly. 

Marching this season was an experience. A first, but not last experience. Yes, I do have three more years to enjoy myself with my closest friends, but I will never forget my first experience. 

My first day at band camp. Because our drumline shirts were black, we unanimously decided that our color for Monday’s theme—color day—would be black. Before the coming hours of work, drumline smeared black body paint in designs all over our skin that we would soon sweat off under the hot sun. We were tough. We had spirit, something no other section had as much as we did. 

Huddling in a circle on the track, we created our capture-the-flag master plan. To steal the game away, to make history. History that we could laugh about. Stories to tell as we progress through high school to the younger grades. The greatest memories of the greatest ego-based win for the drumline. 

Could you even call jumping around in a circle, chanting the word ‘drumline’ while someone holds a flag with the 2016 Ranger Drumline names written on it with a black sharpie, a win? ”

Could you even call jumping around in a circle, chanting the word ‘drumline’ while someone holds a flag with the 2016 Ranger Drumline names written on it with a black sharpie, a win? 

I would. 

My first time as a minion. Again with the body paint, but this time a bit more colorful. My face became an opaque yellow and black circles around my eyes, filled in with white. I remember true laughter escaping my lips; I was a minion, and proud. We chanted the word ‘banana’ as the drumline marched down to the field for another day of practice, raiding the bananas at snack break. No other section there deserved a banana more than the drumline did. 

Not once did we arrive on the field that week without marching. No matter how much we wanted to just go, we could count on each other to arrive and leave together in an almost-orderly fashion.

I remember being locked out of the auditorium, leaving our Gru on stage all by herself, saying our cue line at least 5 times. “Bedo, bedo, bedo” echoed off the walls as we were finally let in and able to act. Marching down the aisles and onto the stage, we gave one of the best-worst productions there. Yet another ego-based performance from the drumline. 

Could you even call running around in a circle, hands on the shoulders next to you, singing the words to Olivia Rodrigo’s “Traitor” to senior Tara Brace in a children’s banana costume for talking to the flutes, a good performance?

I would. 

My first football game. I had almost no idea what was going on; I followed the group, and everything worked out. That halftime show brought many emotions to my head. A feeling of greatness and nostalgia circled through me. I felt accomplished, finally being under the Friday night lights for the very first time. But the fear of making mistakes burned my confidence to ashes. There was no reason to be so nervous. Though the show was not complete by then, we still gave our all.  

Compared to every other game that season, nothing extremely special happened. Everything was more or less the same, but each has its own qualities. Each has a memory that sticks out. 

I can’t hear the cheer Hey Baby being played without remembering my homecoming proposal. My closest friends from the Low Brass section accompanied me by playing the tune for my boyfriend as I held up my poster. I remember being under a tight time crunch to finish coloring in the letters, but everything worked out. 

Everything seems to always work out the way it should. Everything comes to a close, everything moves on. 

I will miss every part of marching. I know life will run past me until it is time to step onto the now-familiar field again, and I will wish for when I held life within my fingertips. For when I had full control. But I am not there. I am here, missing the lights. 

I need to learn to move on with it. I can’t hold on. I can’t grasp the pole, waiting for the storm to pass anymore. I need to let go and learn to trust time.

But I can’t. I will miss marching, through each month until August.