I’m sitting in my lounge room on a soft Autumn day looking out over our peaceful street as Noel Paul Stookey’s, 1972, song “Sebastian” pours into my ears. It’s an old and obscure song but right now the words resonate in me, reminding me of something I’d forgotten in recent times.
The chorus goes like this;
“Sing sweet Sebastian,
sing the sweetest song,
sing so sweet that while you sleep,
your melody lingers on.”
I hear these words and I remember that life is a song we are singing to one another.
I’m remembering as I listen in the cool, green peace of this day that songs can and do change in the course of singing them and that’s what makes them so beautiful. Each verse carries its own message, with every one building on what came before. No part of the song is wasted or unimportant – just like none of our life experiences are wasted or unimportant. Some of the verses of our lives are full of joy, love and success. Others quietly, tearfully, brokenly speak of our pain, hurt or despair but together…oh, together! Together they are a masterpiece that sings of our strength, humanity and courage. They are a gift to the people we love.
We should never assume when singing the sadder verses that this is all there is to our song. You are a ballad not an ad jingle – You have more than this one verse to sing.
Your life is a song; sweet, light, poignant, dark, soulful and altogether beautiful. Please sing it loudly when you can or softly when you can’t. If you come to a place where you seem to lose your voice… If you find a verse where you cannot bear to sing the words alone..If you come to a part where the lines seem to slip away from you… I hope you’ll let us – who love you- sing your song with you. We may not sing on key, we may sing quite imperfectly but we will still do it for you, because we understand. Sometimes we all need our friends to stand beside us and raise their voices when words fail us.
How will our song finish? What will become of it when the final notes fade to silence? Only time will tell, but let’s sing each verse with passion, honesty, love and courage so that when we at last sleep… the melody lingers on.