I got to remembering things from when I was a kid today. I am a person who remembers what makes me feel good, and certain music is right up there in the “feel good” section of my memory.

The first song that ever made me come alive was “Born Free” – I don’t remember the artist, but it became the theme song for a movie about a lion named Elsa who was rescued as a cub from poachers, raised by wildlife conservationists, and released back into the wild again, where Elsa successfully raised her own kitten cubs until she herself was killed by poachers. But I knew the song before I knew any of Elsa’s happy sad story. The song went beyond my heart and into my soul and I knew freedom was a quality of my life that went beyond values and morals into something innately within me. “Born free, as free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows, born free to follow your heart. Live free and life is worth living…” are the initial lyrics.

Years pass, and I am not a four year old anymore, but a “pre-tweenager.” My sister who is younger than me by two years, but much more in touch with the fashions and hip modalities of life, comes home with the Beatles’ “Let It Be.” Not only was that a great melodic song, but those three words became immensely comforting whenever heartbreaking situations arose in life. I knew, just from those three words of the Blessed Mother, that whatever the situation, things were going to work out one way or another, and I could always find my own inner peace, just by letting it be.

Folk songs by folksingers Peter, Paul and Mary were always great, but the artist who really rocked the boat of my formative years was John Denver, and the first song of his that ever captured me was “Rocky Mountain High.” Mom and Dad had taken us across the country to California from our home in New York state and back, and I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains to the point I never wanted to come home. John Denver was an amazing song writer who could capture many of those down home moments – “Life on the Farm is never laid back, ain’t much an old country boy like me cain’t hack…” Indeed, I married a farmer and spent the next twenty years of my life living close to the land and Great Nature.

But we come home again, too, to ourselves, and sometimes marriages don’t work out. Both people grow apart, and my inner drive for freedom was larger than my capacity to stay. I think “Born Free” was more prophetic than I knew, and I was content to “Let It Be.”

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