Monday, October 31, 2011

Magical Moment 590, "If We Make it Through December"

I love winter and I love snow. We got a hard dose of it pretty early this year though, making me think we could be in for a long, cold season. One of my favorite songs is Merle Haggard's "If We Make it Through December." There's just something relatable in the lyrics, reminding me that better days are always ahead. 

I have my own reasons for getting through December. And a while ago, when I recorded my version of this song on my Mac, I had different reasons and a different December to brave. We all have our metaphorical "Decembers" to muttle through, and it seems between the economy, protesters, and freak snow storms, we may never get there. But that's when we're reminded of last year, and the years before, and we can see how far we've come. 

(The photo was taken right outside our door. Just one of the thousands of trees that were destroyed by the heavy, wet snow. This was one of the very first songs I ever recorded in Garage Band about 3 years ago. It's a little rough around the edges, but I find that when you have a good song to begin with, it's hard to mess it up too bad. Enjoy.)

"If We Make it Through December" - Merle Haggard

If we make it through December
Everythings gonna be all right I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the fallin snow

If we make it through December
I got plans of bein in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

I got laid off down at the factory
And there timings not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I been workin' hard
I wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl
Now I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And why my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here

If we make it through December
Everythings gonna be alright I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the fallin' snow

If we make it through December
I got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer time
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

Monday, October 24, 2011

Magical Moment 589, "Stuffy Comfort"

For weeks, I've watched a little girl with lopsided pigtails come to ballet class. She wears a tiny white leotard and tights that sag on her small, 4 year old frame. Before each class, she says a tearful goodbye to her mother at the door and makes her way to the wooden barre.

Although distraught at the separation, she remains absolutely obedient to the instructions of the teacher. Through weepy eyes, she skips across the floor, all while clutching a wadded up tissue in her fist. When her eyes become too misty, she dabs them while marching in rhythm to the music of The Nutcracker. Occasionally, an audible sob emerges, but she never strays from performing each exercise perfectly.

Last week, the familiar scene unfolded with a slight change. Instead of a kiss goodbye, her mother stepped into the classroom holding a brightly colored dog. 
"Now, where should we put Stuffy?" her mother asked. "Right here by the piano, so he can watch over you?" The little girl silently nodded, lip quivering. 

And so as I played for the ballet class, I watched Stuffy watch over the little girl. And this time, there were no tears. Just a very brave ballerina.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Magical Moment 588, "Queen of the Night"

There is a mysterious and rare flower called the Queen of the Night. It is a species of cactus that requires year round care and attention in order to be brought to it's magnificent bloom. 

If properly cared for, the Queen of the Night will live up to its name. One single night out of the year, it will slowly open, layer after layer, until fully bloomed. The flower emits a strange and glorious fragrance unlike any other. And in just a few hours, it will wilt, not to be seen again for another 364 nights.

This Queen of the Night bloomed at Thomas Edison's Greenhouse 2 nights ago. The photos were taken by my husband, Eddie, one of only two people to witness this rarity.

"A rare experience of a moment at daybreak, when something in nature seems to reveal all consciousness, cannot be explained at noon. Yet it is part of the day's unity."
-Charles Ives

"It isn't given for us to know those rare moments when people are wide open and the lightest touch can wither or heal. A moment too late and we can never reach them any more in this world."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Related posts, from Thomas Edison's Greenhouse:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Magical Moment 587, "Put a Smile On Your Face"

When I was a little girl, I had a cherished stuffed dog who I imagined could fly with his brown, floppy ears. One day, I was at a department store with my mother and mistakenly left the dog in a dressing room. Of course, neither of us realized it until after we left the store. At home, I waited panic stricken, as my mother made phone calls to the Lost and Found, and several store managers. I never saw my little dog again, but I imagined that he found his way to the toy section, and lived there happily with new friends.

There was another childhood friend of mine, a stuffed bear named Theodore. He had the most compelling black eyes and pudgy tummy. If ever a stuffed animal was "real," Theodore was. But whoever created my little bear, made a terrible and seemingly permanent mistake. The black line of his mouth was sewn into a frown. No matter what I did, tea parties, outdoor picnics, a doll house mansion, Theodore would never be happy. It broke my heart so much, I asked my grandma (handy with a needle and thread) if there was any way she could fix it. In no time at all, she had performed a magical surgery on my bear. When she handed him back to me, for the first time, Theodore smiled up at me. And I smiled back.

There are many lessons to be learned about happiness as a child and from a child. I hoped my dog would be happy in his new Toy Department home. My mom hoped she would find me the lost dog. I longed to see my bear smile, and my grandma longed to see me smile. We call children simple, and distract their sadness with a candy bar. But you should have seen the smile on my face this morning when Eddie surprised me with a pumpkin flavored doughnut from Dunkin Doughnuts. It's not the act itself that can bring happiness to someone, but the sentiment and meaning from which it comes.

"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." 
-Robert Heinlein

Related thoughts, inspired by 2 very precious boys: