Saturday, August 11, 2012

What Song Do You Sing?

What is your song, your story? How have you named yourself? What word, when you say it aloud, rings true about this inner voice, in the deepest part of your heart?
When I whisper the word mother aloud I feel a sense of responsibility. When I say "child of an alcoholic" I feel lost and afraid, confused and very sad. When I say "friend" I feel caring, valued, sometimes overwhelmed. Every time I ask myself another question, I place myself on a different pathway in life, have a different set of lessons to learn- opportunities to give.
    Johnny's being on hospice has caused me to spend a lot of nights thinking about my life. I often find myself viewing it as a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle and get frustrated when pieces don't quite fit. This was how it was last night, after the sun began its journey to the other side of the world. I got Johnny settled down for the night and stood on our patio staring at God's nightlights. Then it was, that I recalled the beautiful story I am now going to share with you.

   There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted- not from when they're born, not from when they're conceived- but from the day that the child was a thought in the mother's mind.
And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she's heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child's father and teaches him the song.  And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of the time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite the child to come.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child's song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old woman and the people around her sing the child's song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child's song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks the child up and sings it's song to it. Or perhaps if the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty--then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

     And it goes this way through their life, in marriage; the songs are sung, together. And finally, when the child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing, for the last time, the song to this person.

   What is your song, I ask again? Do you have one to comfort yourself, to encourage yourself? I"m not sure if this post will make sense to anybody reading it, but that's okay. It makes sense to me, is filling a need I have at the moment, an enormous need for comforting, which is why I went outside to gaze at God's nightlights; always lit so I can find my way home.

    My song? It is "How Great Thou Art."
There is nothing quite as comforting as staring up at the starry heavens. Doing that enables me to see just how small I really am, and just how great HE is- how absolutely Wonderful!

   For the love, friendship- support.
      Love you much,
     Johnny- Barb.



Debbie said...

The cycle of life can be bittersweet and beautifully humbling at the same time. I hope you found peaceful comfort while gazing at the stars.

Anita Johnson said...

Dear Barb,
I have spent the last hour reading older posts and I want you to know that I will pray for you and Johnny...for "strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow"...from the song Day by Day. I learned a bit about your family, your life together, your years on the road (I always thought i would love to go cross country and take photos out the window of a truck)...and about the struggles you are facing today. I am so sorry. I too love the song How Great Thou Art..."I see the stars, I hear the roaring thunder, thy power through out the universe displayed". Hoping you feel His power tonight and in the days to come. Hugs from a new blog friend from Wisconsin.

Kath said...

One of my favourite hymns Barb.God be with you both,I am sad you are having to go through all this.Sorry for the late comment as I have been away two weeks.Always in my thoughts and prayers,both of you.What is your Zip Code Barb? I have your addy but no zip code on it? Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Sybil said...

Thank you for sharing that story Barb. Gives one some thoughts. I too love your hymn, In fact so did my Mum and asked for it for her funeral. I will do as well,
Goodnight and God Bless you and Johnnie always,
love Sybil xx

Tina of Moon Shine said...

I love this post. I am not sure what my song is but I too feel differently by the adjective I use to describe myself. I will need to think about this.

barbara said...

this is the first but not the last time that I read your blog. I love that story you told. It touched me somehow, I can't say for sure how yet. But I needed it.
I love how great thou art. I will be praying for you and Johnny.