When I turned 40, my husband made me a CD compiled of our favorite songs through the years. Songs we listened to when we dated, when we were engaged, when we first got married. When we had our daughter, and then when our son was born. Songs we sang to as we moved from Tennessee to Texas, and eventually made our way to Colorado. I stuck that CD in this morning and am letting it play from the beginning...and I actually 'feel' the memories moving through me.
Snapshots of places we've been and people we've known fan past my mind's eye as though I were feathering back the pages of book. Most of those people are still in our lives, though we may not have spoken for a while. You know how life goes... But some are gone now, and heaven is sweeter for their passing. But I still miss them.
James Taylor's The Secret of Life just finished playing...and as I listened I was back in college, twenty-five years ago, in my dorm, listening to that song as I studied (having no clue then how life would unfold). A very wise man once told me (and the rest of the senior class in high school) that "from that point on, the rest of our lives would be an unfolding of the decisions we made in the coming four or fives years."
He was so right. (Thanks, David Fincher.) But it's hard to really comprehend that when you're 18. When all you care about is getting out on your own, stretching your wings, and discovering life. Which, in many ways, is as it should be. But oh to have a bit of perspective to see beyond the here and now at that juncture.
I'm so thankful God has a masterplan for our lives. Not that he doesn't give us choices. He does. But I believe that if we walk with him, if we seek his guidance, he'll show us the right path. I've veered off that path a few times in my life, but he's always lovingly, firmly pulled me back. And I'm so thankful.
Right now Neil Young's Heart of Gold is playing. I just looked and Three Dog Night is next, then Lobo, Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Guess Who, then the Spinners. Coming up is Crosby, Stills, and Young, the Stylistics are in queue too, followed by John Denver, The Alan Parsons Project, Doobie Brothers, Dan Fogelberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chicago, The Judds, Karla Bonoff, and finally Alison Krauss. And I'm sitting here thinking...Man! Am I getting old!! LOL! I haven't heard some of these songs played on the radio in years! Though, thankfully, most of these artists are still around. And their lyrics and melodies are part of my past, and part of my present. Their words are so powerful. Which reminds me...I need to be writing.
Treat yourself this weekend--dust off that old album, or better yet, download it to your MP3 and take a walk down memory lane!
Oh, and one more song...Barry Manilow's Somewhere Down the Road. I know, I know...some of you probably aren't Barry fans. But Polly, if you're listening, I'm sending that one out to you, dear friend, and am fondly remembering our years in college as we fell asleep listening to him. ;)
P.S. Check out http://www.pandora.com. It's a great place to listen to music (as recommended by author and friend Deborah Raney.)