Reaching

“Christin has a song for everything” is a phrase I’ve heard over and over, my entire life. I am, unashamedly, a nut who WILL break into song at any given moment. Consider yourself forewarned.

I’ve very literally curated a soundtrack for my life.

A certain song can come on the radio, or pop up in my Pandora, and it will immediately take me to a moment in time – an audio snapshot of my soul.

One of the things I do in the first few months of every year is choose a “theme song” for the year.  It’s usually a big, bold anthem about who I am or what I want to accomplish in that year. Some of my past choices have been Defying Gravity from Wicked, Brave by Katy Perry [don’t judge me], Lovely Day by Bill Withers, etc etc.

Usually, the songs jump out at me and I know exactly what the “anthem of the year” is going to be. It usually reveals itself by mid-January at the latest.

Not so much this year.

I’ve googled, I’ve listened to Pandora, I’ve been over all my usual playlists, and nothing has jumped out at me. I DIDN’T HAVE A SONG!

And then I realized that wasn’t true.

There HAS been one song that has stayed with me for months now, quietly, in the back of my mind. I’ve found myself humming it as I do the dishes, as I clean, as I stare out the window of my office into the field across the parking lot.

It’s an old song. I’ve known it since I was in high school. It’s soothing and melodic – a sweet little song that touched me back then, and has sort have stayed with me ever since, showing back up in my mind every once in a while.

I hadn’t thought about it for a long time.  It was one of the songs I sang to Kiara when she was an infant, patting her back and willing her to sleep for more than two hours at a time, but haven’t thought about much since.

Late last November, as I was packing my things and preparing to vacate my old apartment, I found myself humming the tune, and as I became aware of it, I remembered, and began to sing the words.

 

There’s a time I can recall

Four years old and three feet tall

Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar

And both were out of reach

 

And later on in my high school

It seemed to me a little cruel

How the right words to say always seemed to stay

Just out of reach

 

Well I should not have thought it strange

That growing causes growing pains ‘

Cause the more we learn the more we know

We don’t know anything

 

But still it seems a tragic fate

Living with this quiet ache

The constant strain for what remains

Just out of reach

 

We are reaching for the future

We are reaching for the past

And no matter what we have we reach for more

 

We are desperate to discover

What is just beyond our grasp

But maybe that’s what heaven is for

 

There are times I can’t forget

Dressed up in my Sunday best

Trying not to squirm and to maybe learn

A bit of what the preacher preached

 

And later lying in the dark

I felt a stirring in my heart

And though I longed to see what could not be seen

I still believed

 

I guess I shouldn’t think it odd

Until we see the face of God

The yearning deep within us tells us

There’s more to come

 

So when we taste of the divine

It leaves us hungry every time

For one more taste of what awaits

When heaven’s gates are reached

 

There’s a time I can recall

Four years old and three feet tall

Trying to touch the stars and the cookie jar

And both were out of reach 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDfYCiYdgeg

 

It’s such a gentle song.

Maybe that’s why I almost missed it.

I was waiting for my power anthem, and almost missed my gentle lullaby.

It really does encompass where I am right now, and what I’m looking for/working on this year.

So much in my life seems just out of reach right now. I’ve been in need of a better car for a long time now, and it’s getting pretty urgent now, as my current one is truly unsafe. But stepping into a new [to me] one that is reliable and economically wise for the long term is just out of my reach. I’m stretching, reaching, grabbing at straws, doing everything I can…and I feel like I can almost touch it…but it’s just out of reach.

That’s just the surface stuff, though.

The rest of the song resonates even more –

I should not have thought it strange

That growing causes growing pains ‘

Cause the more we learn the more we know

We don’t know anything

Oh yeah.

I’ve finally, after 5 years of just surviving, and a lifetime of indoctrination, started to deal with where I’ve come from – and oh, the growing pains. Changing and growing is difficult, and sometimes painful, but it’s necessary and good.

And I’m truly re-evaluating who I am and what I believe about God, spirituality, religion, etc – and it’s so true: I don’t know anything. That’s a scary place to find yourself after having been the one who had the answers for others, but it’s also good and healthy, because I’m learning for myself what I actually believe, and what I don’t believe.

I may not be 4 years old and three feet tall anymore, but I still sit in that pew, trying not to squirm, and maybe learn, a little of what the preacher preaches.  And every time I look into the faces of my friends, feel myself wrapped in a hug, hear the laughter of people I love, sing the words to Spirit of Life, I’m realizing that I’m getting a taste of the divine. And I may not really know anymore what heaven is, or if I even believe in a literal heaven, I know that when I look around the room at UUCV as we hold hands and sing together, I’m seeing it.

I’m learning that hope is found, love is found, life is found in the quiet, gentle moments

And like my song, I just need to realize that it’s singing around me

If I just stop and listen.

I guess I shouldn’t think it odd

Until we see the face of God

The yearning deep within us tells us

There’s more to come

So when we taste of the divine

It leaves us hungry every time

For one more taste of what awaits

When heaven’s gates are reached

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