Editor’s Note: Song lyrics denoted in bold italics.
Apparently, I’m seriously digging the ’70s singer-songwriters lately! Maybe I’m going through a phase? Whatever the reason, I can’t help but feel like this week’s song choice from Cat Stevens is the perfect pick, especially in light of Janelle’s birthday celebration last week…
Cat Stevens’ “Oh Very Young”
From Buddha And The Chocolate Box
As with my last few ’70s favorites, my parents introduced us to the musical stylings of Cat Stevens. My mom told stories of how she used to listen to his records in college, and I could just imagine my mom hanging out with her friends in her dorm room, waxing poetic on the deep, philosophical meanings behind Cat Stevens’ greatest hits. If that’s not a perfect ’70s tableau, then I don’t know what is.
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
In case you didn’t know, I turned 36 this year. I’m quickly realizing that this is sort of a tipping-point age in that you really and truly begin to think about, well, things like age and mortality and your place in this big, wide world. It’s funny because I never really gave much thought to any of it. Even when I was younger and going through the worst of my medical journey, it never, ever dawned on me that my life would be finite. Maybe it was just a case of naive optimism on my part, but I never worried that one of my surgeries would kill me or that I wouldn’t leave the hospital after I’d recovered. I measured my life back then as one long road that stretched out endlessly before me. I was undaunted and unafraid. But that’s how most kids are, isn’t it? When we’re young, we have no concept of just how short and fleeting life is.
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
(You know you never will)
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still
And when we’re young, we just naturally assume that these good times we’re having will last forever. Sometimes, we even take these idyllic times for granted. It’s only after we’ve gotten older and look back on those days that we realize how awesome they were. As Carly Simon sang, “stay right here ’cause these are the good old days.”
That’s so true, isn’t it? Maybe that’s why I’m not very good with goodbyes. After all, I never have been. I’ve always hated them. It’s like the words get caught in my throat and I…just…can’t…say…them. So when we’re on this journey and we know there’s going to be a goodbye eventually, it sort of casts a somberness to the whole thing. Does it make us not want to be on the journey in the first place? Does it make us not want to get close to people? I’m not sure, but I do know that those are two questions I’ve turned over in my mind A LOT.
For the last few years, I’ve been known to say to my mom, “There’s not enough time.” She usually just looks at me, rolls her eyes and replies, “Oh, there’s plenty of time!” But, really, THERE’S NOT! Life moves so fast (to paraphrase a very-wise Ferris Bueller!), and the grand irony is that we don’t stop to think about life as we’re actually living it. We’re too busy going about our day to stop and think about things, you know?
So…how about we all stop for a minute today, look around and just take it all in? What do you say, friends? Are you with me?? xoxo