As a child, I recall many trips where I rode in the back seat of our family car singing “Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.” All was pleasant and joyful for a time, but the road soon became bumpy, the journey became boring, and my song changed to a whiney query, “Are we there yet?”
In my seventy-five-year life-journey, the roads have frequently been bumpy; some experiences have turned into trials and tests; and the “river” that we all must cross doesn’t seem to inspire a song.
But then, in those memorable childhood travels, it was neither the bumpy rural roads, nor the bridges over Arkansas’ rivers and streams that kept me singing -- it was anticipation of the journey’s end.
However, it seems that even though there is joy in focusing on the goal of my life’s journey, the songs along the way tend to modulate into a minor key.
I must keep reminding myself that it’s the destination – not the journey – that produces a song in the heart.
The lyrics of a chorus I sang as a college student seem appropriate:
You can have a song in your heart in the night,
After every mile, after every trial.
Anyone can sing when the sun‘s shinning bright,
But you need a song in your heart at night.
Songs in the night don’t come from surroundings – they come from what’s been internalized in a person’s heart of hearts. It’s the vision of the destination that produces a joy that blossoms into a song.
Hmmm. I’m glad I wrote this – I needed to read it.