Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things - GBE2

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

More lyrics:

Few of us don’t recognize these lyrics. Some of us even know them by heart. We all have a list of favorite things we could recite, although perhaps not as lyrically as Rodgers and Hammerstein. There may even be a thing or two on their list that matches our own. But, do we put them to use like Maria did?

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad.

When life’s hardships are really pulling us down, do we remember all the good things we already have, both tangible and intangible? It’s hard at times, I know. I've been there. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible (or it seems to be) to think of anything good in our lives. But, they do exist, however simplistic they may be.

I love cats. I have always loved cats. If not for cats, I think I might have completely lost my mind at certain times in my life. I know I would have been even more damaged than I was. But, as a child and a young adult, cats were my refuge. It sounds odd, I know. I read it and think that myself. Yet, if not for the unconditional love my cats gave me, if not for my knowing they needed my care, I might not have been able to get past some of my lowest points. They loved me when I felt unloved and unlovable.

Wounded Knee, 1891
I've also always loved books. From the time I began reading, I have escaped into books. They took me places I couldn't go, gave me families I couldn't have, siblings I didn't have. I had adventures beyond imagination, seeing life through other people’s eyes, learning about people in history through biographies such as Stephen Foster, Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale; later learning about inequality and bigotry through books such as Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Black Like Me, The Barred Door. Flights of fancy took me to the world of Hobbits and the Dragons of Pern. Now, I tend to embrace mysteries. (It may be no real surprise that I have read the Cat Who… mysteries completely!)

I wish we'd had these uniforms!
There were several years where music was an integral part of my being. I grew up listening to my parents’ music – mostly that of the 40s, big band and crooners. When my personal tastes took over, I would tune out the world and bury myself in whatever music I had discovered touched me in some way. When I was old enough, I began playing clarinet and immersed myself in the band starting in 5th grade through graduation. I even learned to play the saxophone so I could participate in the dance band.

If not for “a few of my favorite things”, I don’t think I’d have survived even partly intact. They allowed me the opportunity to escape my painful surroundings and maintain something of a sense of self. Admittedly, I missed a lot of what was going on around me. I sometimes jokingly refer to the bubble I grew up in, but I honestly believe I’m better off for having had these things to turn to than I would have been if they’d been denied to me.

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Blogger Paula Martin said...

Wonderful post, Wendy. I think our 'favourite things' are those which keep us going through the less happy times of our lives.
I love musical shows and was the director of the junior group of our local amateur Musical Theatre. It proved to be my salvation, during a very bad time in my life, to go to rehearsals and immerse myself in something I loved to do, instead of sitting at home geting depressed about what had gone wrong ni my life.

July 30, 2011 at 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand. I'd bet that all of us have relied on and been grateful for the simple pleasures that help us get through the rough patches. While I suppose that everyone has their burdens, I tend to feel really bad for those who can't seem to find something--anything--to help them find some light.

July 31, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

First of all--I love that song--and I really love Julie Andrew's voice...too bad she's had issues and pretty much can't sing like she used to :(

However--favorite things--yours are definitely treasures--and I can see why they would keep you intact. Beautiful post!! Cheers, Jenn

July 31, 2011 at 1:05 AM  
Anonymous peter petterson said...

A wonder post. Your favourite things can certainly be treasures and memories from the past.


July 31, 2011 at 4:05 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

You have found the key to mental health if not stability itself. Those favorite things keep us feeling both loved and lovable, necessary to exist. Excellent post. C:

July 31, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

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