Save Your Sadness for a Sunny Day

I feel a little like a cheater. And a lot like privileged. I spent Easter Sunday afternoon stretched out in the sun on my brother-in-law’s deck in Denver. No jacket, bare feet. I got a sunburn, so I guess there’s some justice for you.

But now, I’m dutifully back in Saint Paul, under gray skies, watching snow pile up outside, thankful for a few sunny days stolen in Colorado, where some of my March-in-Minnesota melancholy did indeed melt away.

My inspiration for writing this song (for week 13 of #songaweek2018) was taking a walk on a gray day, thinking about the cliche “save it for a rainy day” – and how that doesn’t make much sense here where gray/snowy/rainy days can be so common, so maybe it’s better to save up something for a sunny day – and since lots of gray days can bring on sadness for me, maybe I could save up that sadness, push off the full feeling of it till a sunny day when I could let it all hang out and see it melt away. (I think I sort of inverted the idea of the Jayhawks’ song “Save it for a Rainy Day”!)

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Hard-nosed ice
Steely sleet
Driving rain

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Gray skies
Heavy light
Leaden limbs

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Birds sing
Branches reach
Treetops sway

Way of the World

“A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.” — The Empire Strikes Back

Probably restlessness is part of our human DNA, which is why our species has spread out and found ways to live all over the world. My problem is I have a hard time staying in one place for too long. Maybe restlessness is part of my personal DNA too.

And –

It’s been persistently gray and chilly here in Minnesota in March. I asked for this. I chose it, from my little sunny backyard with the mountain view, last year. It was a good choice, but this time of year in this place, it can be a hard one to live with.

This is the time of year when sadness inexplicably seeps into me. Or probably more truly, it seeps out of me – the weight I’ve been carrying surfaces and I must face it.

These were some ideas influencing me as I wrote this song for week twelve of #songaweek2018:

I don’t know why the river makes me cry
I left the west cause I was thirsty
after the years the desert drained me dry
it’s just the way of the world
just the way of the world
it’s the way of the world
in me

I don’t know how these clouds got in my eyes
I shunned the sun cause I was burning
Too much light can leave you hypnotized
It’s just the lay of the land
Just the lay of the land
It’s the lay of the land
I see
It’s just the way of the world
Just the way of the world
It’s the way of the world
and me

It’s just my heart on my sleeve
and my head in my hands
it’s the way of the world
with me
It’s just the way of the world
just the way of the world
It’s the way of the world
For me

The Dark

Time for some poetry.

the dark
© 1/28/09 Julia Tindall Bloom

here comes the dark
warm and womblike
out pop the stars
above our heads
we sip our wine
sing a little more
kiss and settle in

here comes the dark
a blanket wrapped around us
we light candles
around the room
make hot cocoa
read stories with the children
drift drowsily to dreamy sleep

here comes the dark
a hungry wolf outside these walls
i plod to bed on heavy feet
weary of all these clothes
escaping to dreamless sleep
holding out

in my mind’s eye
sunlit green
in the earth’s heart
wrinkled seeds
kept for the moment

here comes the sun
a little earlier each day
lingering longer every night
i hear a low far-off train whistle
remember robins
and smile.

Fighting February

In the hot and busy hustle of growing, harvesting, and preserving summer’s bounty, winter sounds like a dreamy relaxing bubble bath. There I am in my mind’s eye, serenely lounging in a rocking chair, wrapped in a cozy blanket, backlit with candlelight. On the table next to me steams a mug of green tea, next to a small dish of dark chocolate and crystallized ginger from which I occasionally eat. I am reading Plato’s Republic. The children are in bed, my lover is softly strumming a guitar on the couch. The dishes are washed, the laundry is folded and put away, there is a pot of beans soaking for tomorrow’s dinner.

In February, the actual scene might look more like this: I am in a rocking chair, holding a book. It is not Plato’s Republic, but Thomas the Tank Engine’s Big Lift and Look Book. One child is on my lap because he was biting his sister at bedtime. The other is screaming that she is scared to be alone in her room. My drink of choice is Kahlua and cream, but I already drank it all. I didn’t bother putting the chocolate and ginger in a dish, but just ate them out of the bag while standing in front of the kitchen cupboard, keeping my back strategically turned towards the always-underfoot children. Dirty dishes are piled around the sink, and my husband is folding laundry on the couch. It’s looking like tomorrow’s dinner will once again be baked potatoes and carrot sticks. But at least I’ve got those jars of tasty ketchup that I canned in the summer.

For years now, I have regretted that Christmas is celebrated so early in the winter. Couldn’t people have waited until winter got good and nasty to have a big celebration? In December, even here in Minnesota, we can never be sure if we will even have snow for Christmas. In February, it’s a sure thing. In February, I am hungry for something to celebrate. I have become half-bear, convinced that hibernation would solve all my troubles. I, who love to get out of bed and go for a run at 5:00 on summer mornings, can hardly roll over by 8:00 on February mornings. I feel sleepy, swollen, and stupid; weary of the piles of clothes from which I must exhume myself every night for bed, weary of shoveling snow, weary of refereeing the ridiculous arguments and murderous brawls my small children have made their full-time occupation.

I know, the Christmas celebration lines up with the winter solstice, celebrating the return of the sun and longer days. And I do feel a glint of joy in February when I notice it is 5:00 and the sun is still shining. But, oh, how lovely it would be in February to saturate the house with the crooning of Nat King Cole, bake up a passel of Christmas cookies, fill up the calendar with parties and . . . the kids’ room with newly opened presents . . . and . . . hey, wait a minute, that sounds exhausting.

Skip it. The afternoon winter sun is radiating through the window, and I can just sit here and let it warm me, with no mental stress over cookies I’m not baking, parties I’m not planning, or even weeds I’m not pulling or gorgeous summer day I’m not taking full advantage of. I’ll bet there will be brilliant stars out tonight, with moonlight glowing over the snow. Alright, February, I surrender.