I drove home with the windows down and thought to myself “The moon is high/The wind is cool/ And people in the world tonight are happy.”
It all started with a wedding invitation. I had planned to go, because hmm…I don’t know, I may be one of the few single people in the world who actually like weddings. But, just imagine how amused this Midwestern city girl was when the invitation suggested that the guests wear country attire for the event. The only boots I had were black rain boots, so it was with those that I trudged across stable grounds to get to the service hidden in the trees. (Yes, the wedding and reception were held at the horse stables of the bride. Welcome to Texas, everybody). As I walked, a true and honest cowboy coming across the field peered at me and asked:
“Are you here for the country hitchin’?”
I had to pause and try to make sense of his words. “The what?” I asked.
“The hitchin’.” He repeated. “The wedding.”
I laughed at the lingo. I love colorful expressions like that, which is a good thing, because the night delighted me more and more as the sun drooped behind the tree line and the wind started to blow cold.
Of course, the bride came in on a horse-drawn carriage. The groomsmen were dressed in overalls. The bridesmaids were in peach-lacy cowgirl dresses. Hey, even the reception food consisted of brisket sandwiches and potato chips. Horrid country music blared throughout the tent. And the mother of the bride bawled and beamed alternately as she floated from table to table greeting others.
As I drove home on that bright cold night, I had good reason to think: “Some people really are happy. Sometimes things work out. Hey, let’s be crazy with this: Let’s even say that most of the time good things happen to good people.”
That realization was key. Why? If you are an intellectual or poet or artist in any capacity, you’ve probably noticed that you have an annoying propensity towards pessimism. Hey, it comes with the territory. Being more sensitive than the general population, we are infinitely more affected by all that’s wrong in the world and the lack of genuine relief. Our creations are sometimes our only outlet. How nice it is, then, when we see that good can survive in the world, that all of our yearnings have a real-world application.
The good in this story was not the bride, but the mother of the bride, who is a high school Special Aide teacher of the highest order. The Extraordinary Lady gives of herself constantly: to her students, to her coworkers, and to her family with a dynamic energy beyond the scope of humanity, it seems. Because she is good, goodness comes back to her, i.e. a perfect wedding for her daughter. I have never seen a happier person, simply because she endeavors so hard to make those around her comfortable and happy.
The moral of the long story: If you find yourself drowning in a bog of self-doubt, negativity, and hopelessness, remember that your efforts may just yet reach fruition. In a world of accidents, pain, and melancholy, good exists and triumphs…somewhere at least. I’ll leave you with a famous Sheenagh Pugh poem, one that she doesn’t like because of its simplicity, but really gets the job done:
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best intentions do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen; may it happen for you.