My piano teacher surprised me last week by giving me the piano music to “It’s a Wonderful World.” It’s a song I mentioned once to her that I would love to learn to play. I danced cheek to cheek to it with my step-dad during the father/daughter dance at my wedding over eleven years ago. When I hear Louis Armstrong’s voice I get all teary and goose bumpy.
When I sat down to pound out the notes with just the right had for the first time, I got all teary and goose bumpy. And trust me, my voice is not known to make people misty eyed. Unless, of course they are experiencing pain.
I was brought back to my wedding, sharing that moment on the dance floor with my step-dad. He is now 90, in a nursing home and a wheel chair. But through his eyes he sees a wonderful world. Still. I can’t see it that way. He is fed, bathed, changed and all for a man who was climbing on a roof, pounding nails, hiking mountains, directing, leading, giving at age 86. It hurts me so much to see him like this that sometimes I can’t look, I have to stay away. But that is my pain, my experience. His eyes still twinkle when I come in the room and he asks me when his darling, my mother, will be coming for a visit. For him my mom’s daily visits, loving staff, and drop bys from his children and friends…that’s all he needs to make his world wonderful.
I have been feeling high and in the Christmas Spirit the last couple of days and feeling quite like YES, it is indeed a wonderful world. The sky has been clear and brilliant blue by day and breathtaking at night with its full moon shinning down. Today, the clouds have moved in and the world is still wonderful, just covered with a different shade of light. It’s the same world as the one protected by a clear – blue – sunny – sky.
Yes, the front page and news headlines are full of tragedy, the kids are driving me nuts, friends are getting divorced, dying of cancer or depressed, finances are tight for many, my step-dad rarely says my name but when I sit down and plunk on the keys, share a pot of tea with a friend, embrace my husband on his return from a four day business trip, or my son snuggles in close and says, I love you mama, I’m sorry, after a screaming match, or my mom drops by with a piece of cheesecake or I see the moon shinning bright or I laugh with a friend on a walk, over dinner, or through an email…I think to myself, YES, it is indeed a wonderful world.
I include Louis Armstrong’s words, minus my singing. I invite you to take a moment and say them…or better yet, sing them, I dare you:
I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself…What a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night and I think to myself… What a wonderful world. The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky are also on the faces of people goin’ by, I see friends shakin’ hands, sayin’, “How do you do!” They’re really sayin’ “I love you,” I hear babies cry, I watch them grow They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know and I think to myself…What a wonderful world. Yes, I think to myself…What a wonderful world.