Recently I was sitting outside under an umbrella with my wife, trying to escape the heat. We were enjoying a cold drink and happened to be listening to our local AM radio station playing the oldies.
Interesting how a song triggers a memory. Then the memories around that song, that time, all come rushing to your presence. Sometimes you can even remember the scent of that situation from long ago.
“Good Morning Starshine” was the song playing. Recorded in 1969 by Oliver when I was around 8 years old. It sparked a flood of memories. I guess it was top 40 then and has imprinted in my mind.
The place was Glen Lake, Mich. My parents rented a cottage that summer, and we vacationed there for a couple weeks.
The bedroom I slept in was completely finished in knotty pine. There were several cubbies and drawers built into the headboard cabinets. I can still see it today, and the smell of cedars in the woodsy back of the cabin is still memorable.
Dad rented a sunfish sailboat, and we ventured out on the lake donning our foam white belt life preservers. We had never had sailing lessons. A good, stiff wind capsized our boat. I remember calmly explaining how to right the boat by placing your foot on the dagger board and pulling the boat back up. My Dad was curious how I knew that. I told him that I had read about it. We felt like accomplished sailors.
My grandparents visited from Sault Ste. Marie while we were there that summer. My grandmother Ruth grabbed my hand one morning and said, “let’s go for a walk.”
I’m trying to remember what we talked about while venturing into town: however, I can’t recall. I do remember it was a long walk. We went several miles to town and back. But she picked me, alone, to go with her, and that was special in its own way.
We enjoyed an ice cream cone in town before heading back.
She died from cancer soon after, that next winter. I think the walk was a gift from her to me. To remember the kind person she was. That’s all. It worked.
Over half a century later, those lyrics still resonate:
Good morning starshine
The Earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below
Good morning starshine
You lead us along
My love and me as we singing
Our early morning singing song
Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song
My brain rattles, and I’m flooded with emotion. That’s what a good song coupled with an everlasting memory can do.
If you have the time, take that walk with someone important to you. Maybe even sing a few lines while you’re at it…so they will remember. ISI