Which brings to mind …

In 1969, my parents sent me to Hawaii to get me away from the bad influences of Berkeley, the riots and the drugs and the general dismal cultural disintegration, which I wasn’t handling that well, being a sensitive young lad who had not yet discovered the ineffable calming and healing powers of alcohol. That came later.

Anyway, as I listened to this song while creating this post, I remembered a day in the park, in Hawaii, fifty years ago. I was there with a friend of mine and her four-year old daughter. I was pushing the little one on the swing. Along came a mother and her son, who was three and a half or so. He wore leg braces, probably a result of polio, if I had to guess.

She set him up in the swing next to us and gave him a little push and then left him alone. He rocked back and forth and was soon flying in the seat and he started singing this song at the top of his lungs.

He was so incredibly happy, swinging on a sunny Hawaiian day in the park, belting out

Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good fried of mine
And I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his wine
And he always had some might fine wine
Singing Joy to the World
Joy to the World
Joy to the Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea
Joy to You and Me

I just remembered this while creating the post, but I can see him now, quite clearly. I remember marveling at his gigantic spirit in the face of his handicap. I didn’t love this song then, for I was far too cool to like something so commercial, but I do now, as I hear and see him singing it.

Could I ever be so courageous as to decide to be that happy on a daily basis?

I have tried, of course, and I try, now, but cannot gauge how close I’ve ever come. I believe I’ve always fallen short.

But I will persevere and keep trying.

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