In the spring of 2014, my then twenty-six year old grandson, Stephen, asked me to start writing stories about myself. Remarkably, four years later I have a WordPress blog of thirty-one stories. Stephen suggested my favorite song might be a suitable topic to start with. I will, of course, do anything Stephen asks of me. The following is a result of his original request.
A song that has touched me deeply is “The Rose”, as sung by Bette Midler. It is about living life to the fullest, rather than closed off in negativity and dread. “The Rose” lyrics and music were written in 1977 by Amanda McBroom. Her words caution against being fearful and unwilling to participate. She is saying it is better to be open to experiencing the full richness of life. I agree with her message that you must put yourself out there, get involved, be vulnerable, and be willing to risk some failure and embarrassment. Otherwise, you will never feel the true joy of living a full and meaningful life.
My own life could have been richer for a much longer time if I had adopted this bit of wisdom at an earlier age. Alas, I was young, shy, and afraid, which caused me to miss out on a lot of potential enjoyment.
So, my favorite song, “The Rose”, is about rejecting that fearful negative outlook and replacing it with a more positive and hopeful expectation. By mentioning that we are the seed that becomes the rose, McBroom is saying the power lies within us. I agree that each person, by having the right attitude of gratitude and openness to possibility, can control his or her own level of happiness and freedom.
McBroom’s magical lyrics, shown below, sound almost like a hymn. This is a very spiritual song.
Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves the soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love it is a flower,
And you, it’s only seed.
It’s the heart afraid of breaking,
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dying
That never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely,
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky, and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snow,
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.
The wise lyrics of “The Rose” prompted me to read again The Prophet by Kahil Gibran who, in loftier words, also points out that it is within our power to dispel our own fears. That treasured book was gifted to me, inscribed and dated by longtime friend, Mary Boze, on my birthday, October 1968.