Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The House at the End of the Rainbow

The house at the end of the rainbow s the color of sunshine.

This is the second half of my rant about whether Broadway composer / lyricist Jerry Herman was onto something when he wrote the following words:

So hold this moment fast
And live and love as hard as you know how
And make this moment last
Because the best of times is now, is now, is now!

It's also my follow-up to last night's Round Robin entry. I'm still not sure I'm up to a full-blown rant as originally intended, but I'm going to at least say what I set out to say.

We all spend so much time fretting about the past, the present and the future that we miss opportunities to enjoy what we've got and what we can have. Carly rightly said that I shouldn't worry about some stupid thing I said to my mom when I was six years old; and in truth I don't think about that incident for months or years at a time. I'm no longer upset or worried or melancholy about things that happened forty years ago. The emotional scars are barely visible these days. They exist only as a reminder of how far I've come since then, how much I've learned. They remind me that even if things weren't perfect then, they can't keep me from being happy now.

Here in the present, I'm very aware of every fault I have, every failing, everything I need to do better. But none of that stops me from being happy. I have an incredibly intelligent, funny, fascinating husband, a challenging job that I enjoy and that pays well, friends I see after church and other friends online, one book in a New York slush pile and Chapter Two of another book open on my computer for editing. It would be tragic for me to ignore all these good things and more to focus exclusively on the broken lens cap, the sleep deprivation from trying to do too much, everything I've ever done wrong or failed to do right, stuff I don't have, and stuff that may go wrong in the future.

We all need to continually strive to do better. The song quoted above acknowledges this. We should do our best, make our lives the best they can be, and love our nearest and dearest, our friends, our acquaintances, even strangers, even enemies. Not that I personally have any enemies. Some terrorist in Afghanistan doesn't even know me. If he did, if he made that emotional connection with strangers halfway across the world, and discovered there's no Them after all, he probably wouldn't be a terrorist any more. I wish I could explain this to him, and to everyone, and get all of humanity to understand and believe it.

If we strive to live and love as hard as we know how, then we throw ourselves into appreciation of all that makes live worthwhile - the people, the activities, our faith, the beauty, all the wonderful things we've been passing everyday with head down, bent into some imaginary wind. We can look past our troubles - and we all have them - and see the great and tiny victories each new day brings. We'll also the things we can do to achieve those victories, and make our lives better, day by day. Life will never be perfect, but it need not be unrelentingly awful, either. If we let go of past hurts and future worries, hold this moment fast and throw ourselves into making it the best moment it can be, then I think we'll find that Jerry Herman was right. The best of times is now!

I'm happy now.

"No matter what happens tomorrow, or
for the rest of my life, I'm happy now."
--Phil Connors, Groundhog Day

Maybe that's how that rainbow got over my house. Yes, it's a real rainbow.

See? I told you that was a powerful and profound song!


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1 comment:

Becky said...

I love that photo! It makes your house really look like the rainbow's destination. Technicolor dreams. But I'm giggling too...I'm glad to see your front yard is even more overgrown than mine. We are sooooo not outdoor yard working types. LOL