Thursday, February 7, 2008

I Hope You Dance - Can a Song Change a Life?

She sat in the car listening to the radio, thinking about the promise of a new century. How strange it was to write 2000 instead of 1999. She turned up the heater and blew warm breath onto her palms. Frost covered the windshield. She stared through the haze, up the slope, to the summit of Whiteface Mountain. So many brightly colored skiers gliding over the snow -- from a distance they reminded her of gumballs rolling down folds of linen.

From the radio, Leanne Womack’s words cut the chill in the air. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

“Yeah, right. Whatever,” she scoffed and reached out to turn the station.

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance,” the song went on.

Slowly, she drew back her hand and looked again at the mountain. 34 and fearful -- that’s me, she thought. A knot formed in her throat.

“Never settle for the path of least resistance.”

Tears stained her pale cheeks. “That’s all I’ve done for so long,” she whispered. “Oh God,” she moaned. Overwhelmed by the rush of emotion she slunk down in the seat so no one would see her crying. Images of times she’d kept quiet, times she’d threatened to leave if it continued, and the times she’d believed the excuses then held his hand once more; all this poured over her like a flood.

She opened the car door and sank to the ground. They’ll be back soon, she thought. She scooped up a handful of wet snow and cupped it to her cheeks, hoping to freeze out her tears. Back into the car, she closed her eyes to wait.

She awoke to the crunch of boots on icy ground and the laughter of her children. Her family, cold and tired, rushed inside. She listened as they yelled out stories of triumph over the hill, near misses on the slope, and knee-jarring runs down the moguls.

“You okay?” her husband finally asked.

“Of course.” She managed to smile just like all the other times and inside she heard a faint echo…when you come close to selling out reconsider...


Don’t sell out. Live a life you are proud of. Don’t be afraid. Trust your own judgment. Do the things that fill your heart with wonder. Be with people who make you smile. Don’t tolerate those who make you cry.

The 'she' was me and a song can change a life.


Talina said...

You are so right, beautifully written and very touching!

Those songs are a great reminder to us, they get us back on track and living the way we should!

Great post!

Lisa McGlaun said...


Thanks for the comment. There have been a few songs and artists that are inspirations to me and have touched me at pivotal moments of my life. Sometimes a song is the movitator you need to move you toward the tough choices.


Kali said...

"Don’t tolerate those who make you cry". That sentence just smacked me in the face because that's the hardest part. Learning to not tolerate it. The images of her daughter in the video brought tears to my eyes because the greatest joy that's ever come into my life is my soon-to-be-four daughter. I always ask, "How did I get so lucky? LOL

Lisa McGlaun said...


That is a tough one - to break tie with people who hurt you more often than they make you smile. But sometimes it's necessary for your own sanity.

Kids, ah..I still tear up when I look at mine, so I understand.


Anonymous said...

Yes....and you DID make the RIGHT choice!! I love you for having the courage!!!


Lisa McGlaun said...


I did make a good choice.

Love you,

BookMomma said...

Gorgeous post! I miss your writing... it is such a signature of your sweet self!

Cheers as we do some Weekend Bloghopping!

Lisa McGlaun said...


Love you too! I miss you also. I miss our group and the friends I made there.