Fair warning: this post is full of woo woo and mysticism, and I am once again standing in awe of the power of the Universe, God, the angels and spirits and all who have gone before me to arrange things for my benefit.
Yesterday late afternoon I was starting dinner and decided to stream Christmas music while I cooked. I had a Pandora station called Christmas Piano Music on. It was the perfect music to match my mood and to allow me to think about snippets of my talk that are still stickier than I would like.
Suddenly, in the midst of “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and the like, “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music came on. Now I understand that there are references to things like “Brown paper packages tied up with strings” and sleigh bells, snowflakes and sliver white winters, but I don’t think of it as a traditional Christmas song.
The song stuck out to me because this is an early part of my talk:
spark I remember revealing itself to me came early in my life when I auditioned for a community theatre production of The Sound of Music at six and got cast as Marta, the second youngest Von Trapp daughter. My trajectory to stardom was set.
I listened to the song, which streamed twice while I was cooking, and thought, “OK, I hear this, Universe. I get the sign. Thank you”
Then this morning, I went to spin with the express purpose of getting on my bike and peddling while going through my talk, which is just about the same length of time as a spin class. Believe me, if I can talk it under my breath over a Pitbull-type song blaring in my ears, I can deliver it live tomorrow!
I was about 33 minutes into the talk when the first three notes of a song came on. I heard “Many nights we’ve” before Brandie, the instructor, switched to a different song, something with a heavy beat. It wasn’t time for the Connect song, the one where we focus on the mental aspect of exercise.
In that split second, I stopped my talk and looked up quickly. I recognized this tiny snippet immediately; it’s “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt.
I love this entire soundtrack and film, but it’s a different song that holds incredible power in my life, both in the somewhat recent past and from way back when I was a young mother. This first metaphor moved me to tears in the theater when I saw it because of the connection I made to that conversation with my step dad early in my pregnancy.
A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shines
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
But today, when I started thinking about this song, I realized that the second metaphor also has profound connection for me. Many of you know my talk is all about rocks. About feeling crushed by them, about having to remove them from the fields of our lives to live the life we were born to live.
And the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain’s mighty face
doesn’t think it’s more important
than the stones that forms the base
I love this song in the movie, but I love this version even more because you see Stokes in all his glorious element. And then there’s this connection to my life and the talk as well:
Upon graduation, I pointed my compass west out of North Dakota to sunny Los Angeles by way of southern Utah where I was cast in a Mormon musical about the founding of the church in Utah, creatively called Utah!
I wrote a post about another miraculous moment in my life and said, “I guess someone could say that my imagination manifested what I most wanted and that there was no presence there but simply my mind giving me permission to accept that I was about to become a mother. I wouldn’t fight you over it; but I also absolutely couldn’t be convinced that it was anything other than an angel.”
I feel that way about these extraordinary signs, too. Perhaps they were just by chance. Maybe I’ll start hearing “My Favorite Things” on all the Christmas channels I stream, and maybe spin class will continue to play songs from movie musicals about ancient Jewish miracles, but I don’t think so.
When I asked Brandie why she chose “When You Believe” for class today, she paused and said, “I’m not totally sure. I guess I wanted something about the word believe, and this came up.”
Brandie, you might not be totally sure why you picked this song, but I am, and I’m so, so grateful. And I’m listening, Universe, and I’m so thankful for all that has been and all that is going to be.