The Christmas song that always makes me cry

December 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Emotional honesty | Leave a comment
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Margaret O’Brien and Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis”

As I was driving around doing my Saturday errands today, James Taylor’s mellow tenor came on the radio singing an arrangement of a song I’d never heard him cover before — “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” His version was so simple, and by the time he was half-way into it, I had a big ole lump in my throat.

I can never hear this song without remembering Judy Garland’s poignant rendition of it toward the end of the 1944 musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It also reminds me of friends and loved ones who have persevered through a lot of life and, together, are holding on to hope. “From now on our troubles will be out of sight.”

My tears are a sign to me of what I view as most significant in life, so I try to pay close attention when the waterworks begin. Most often, my tears are inspired by either happy or sad relational situations — children being rescued from abusive environments, people in pain I can do nothing to relieve. As my family knows, I tend to get emotional fairly easily, not usually “out of control” emotional but the quieter variety.

Our capacity to cry is a lovely, expressive gift, a miraculous reliever of tension and joy. It is one of the qualities that makes us human. If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it above our hurting world and cause it to more graciously embrace tears as a symbol of compassion and strength . . . so we could all be freed to move one step closer to living authentically.

Write and let me know what song or life situation makes you cry.

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