Somebody changed the radio channel playing at my horse barn.
Instead of country music, we got a mix of show tunes and standards–you know, La Vie En Rose, Unforgettable, Disney ballads. As I began tacking Santiago up, Randy Neuman’s version of You’ve Got a Friend in Me came on. I defy ANYBODY to be either a) still, or b) miserable while that song is playing. Yes, I sang along. You should too. Santa was not too impressed with my barn-aisle boogie, but he got a hug out of it because that is exactly the way I feel about him.
The next tune was A Dream Is a Wish That Your Heart Makes, from the old Disney version of Cinderella. I haven’t heard this piece in years and years… I just leaned on that horse and cried. I don’t know why. It’s a mushy little number, about needing a sanctuary where it’s safe enough to dream, about hope, about fluffy bunnies and twittering birdies… Fortunately, it’s short. I got on rode, and we did pretty well for us, but for a few sniffles (on my part).
This teary trend actually started earlier in the week, with a Zoom concert presented by my friends Jim and Susie Malcolm, a pair of spectacularly talented traditional Scottish singers. Their program focused on Highland tunes, and in the middle of the hour, they sang Wild Mountain Thyme. As Scottish traditional songs go, this one’s actually happy. It’s in a major key, nobody dies, nobody leaves home forever, and if our hero can’t talk his lassie into going thyme-picking with him, he’ll “surely find another.”
Pretty upbeat, for the genre, but the last time I sang this song, I was in Scotland. It’s one of Jim and Susie’s touring anthems, along with Auld Lang Syne. (My favorite version EVER.)
I associate Wild Mountain Thyme with going off on adventures in good company, seeing beautiful scenery, and making new friends far from home. Jim and Susie did the introduction, and I was wrecked. Boo-hoo crying, getting dirty looks from the cats, and missing the hell out of Scotland and my friends.
I don’t think there is “happy crying,” but I do think there’s comfort to be had in feeling safe enough to cry. When my oldest brother went off soldiering in Vietnam, I was about ten years old. I did not cry. I cried when he came home safely a few years later. So too do I think my recent fits of the weeps are an indication that I’m more hopeful and sanguine than I was six months ago. I have the emotional bandwidth to notice the music, Zoom in for the concert, and feel what I’m hearing. For me, that’s progress.
Any progress for you? Setbacks? Wishes or dreams for 2022? I’m donating to the Maryland Food Bank this week. If you’d like to send some meals to the hungry, this site can help you find a food bank near you.