Sometimes around this time of year, we need a little hope to carry us through to brighter days. Here are some bits of song and verse that I’ve posted before, but I thought they’d go well together all in one place.
It’s the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear,
Not alone in the dark.
There’s a Si Kahn song that I almost love: “When the Shore Is Out of Sight” (YouTube). But there’s a line in the chorus that never quite sat right with me. Not long ago, the song came up in my iTunes rotation, and I realized I could tweak the lyrics to something I liked better, so here’s my slightly altered version. I'm not entirely satisfied with it—I lost some parallelism—but I think I like it better, for now, than the original.
From this love, the space to grow in;
From this peace, the path to light;
From these friends, the strength to journey
When the shore is out of sight.
When you can't go on any longer,
Take the hands of your sisters and brothers.
Every victory [brings] another.
Carry it on; carry it on.
She said, “Son there’ll be times when the tides are high
And the boat may be rocky; you can cry,
Just never give up.
You can never give up.”
Here’s a bit from Charlie Murphy’s “Light Is Returning”
Light is returning,
Even though this is the darkest hour;
No one can hold back the dawn.
Here’s a piece from Wendell Berry’s 1998 poem “The Country of Marriage,” a bit which (as I noted when I posted this before) I think applies as well to unmarried life as to married:
Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.
Oh, my Joanie, don’t you know
That the stars are swinging slow,
And the seas are rolling easy
As they did so long ago?
If I had a thing to give you,
I would tell you one more time
That the world is always turning toward the morning.
So gather ’round, all you friends and lovers;
Let the darkness come, for the fire is bright.
Though the road is long, love makes us stronger,
And I wish you good dreams, good morrow, and I wish you good night.
(Updated in June 2020 to add some YouTube links and to fix some broken iTunes links.)