Listening to the first track of Cathy Oakes latest work, Healing Hands it was obvious this was something special, a work that contained a deep emotion. As each of the tracks unfurled this depth of feeling remained, seeping into every note which is played with thankfulness and in homage for the many healing hands that helped her on her journey with Breast Cancer.
Simply reading the titles of the tracks gives an idea of what is behind this glorious celebration of life and healing, as well as reaching out to all the women who are walking the same pathways.
Cathy Oakes has always spoken with immense feeling in her compositions and heartfelt playing, much of which comes from a deep religious faith, and although this work comes from a vastly different platform, her soul deep love of music is very apparent, emerging as gentle, peaceful and almost divine music.
Discovering you have Cancer is cataclysmic, turning your world upside down immediately; The Threshold presents this shattering numbness to perfection, representative of the time when a new journey is beginning with no sure or positive ending to be seen. Hesitant and almost tremulous in many ways this would have to be the stand out track in a series of songs from the heart.
The longest piece Letting go, captures the realisation that in order to heal, one must let go, place your very life into others skilled hands and accept that they also, work tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes.
The Darkest Hour emerges from the period of time when crossroads are reached, when outcomes are yet to be determined and the hand being cast can go either way. Simple, pure and perfectly presenting the time when acceptance is achieved and an inner peace attained.
Lifting the melody with a lighter hand and heart is Anchor of Hope, a gentle, elegant piece as hope begins to appear, that once again there is light and hope in the long and torturous journey. Following on Thankfulness is a cautiously jaunty, cheerful song, full of happiness that a corner has finally been turned, milestones achieved and life waiting to be lived to the fullest once again.
Only Cathy Oakes could call a journey with Breast Cancer a Blessed Journey, but then who is to say it is not, as in many ways, her journey was blessed by wonderful people, professionals who guided her safely and with love through the way points of her journey.
Healing Hands is a glorious, rich, heartfelt tribute to fellow travellers; one that has been created in true thankfulness for every day newly given.