As I drove my daughter to art class, she pointed out how weird the clouds looked. It was like the sky was in 3D (I know, it's real life; it is 3D. You know what I mean), there was that high deck of puffy clouds, that middle swath of gray clouds, that close brush of wispy clouds. They all seemed to be moving at different speeds. She pointed out how weird it looked. Wonderfully weird.
I thought back to a day when I was much younger, lying out in the midday sun, hoping to catch a nap and a tan before I had to get ready for my third shift job that night. I remember looking up into the clouds and noticing how weird they looked, so strange and dimensional. It made a big enough difference that my 20-year-old self noticed it and took a sort of comfort in it. Soon, I drove home--cant remember if it was rain or the call of food and bed that got me. But I remember my mom waking me up for work that night, telling me that my Grandfather had died that day, right about the time that I was noticing those clouds in the sky. I like to think that he was coming to say goodbye to me.
So, this day with my daughter, I told her that when I see clouds like that, I like to think that it's our loved ones up in heaven trying to get our attention, letting us know that they love us and they're thinking of us. And when I see the clouds looking remarkable, which happens a lot in Oklahoma, that's exactly what I take away from it.
And now so does she.
After I dropped her off at class, I had some errands to run so I hopped back in the car and got running. I turned on the music and up popped Merle Haggard, singing Kern River. A song that takes me back, way back, to when I was in high school and my dad & I took a road trip to go up north for something and it was just him & I in the car. We listened to Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline and Alabama and more Merle. And, for good measure? A little more Merle. And hearing that song pop up let me know that my daddy (whom I never called daddy when he walked here on earth) was up there thinking of me, letting me know that he loves me & he's got my back.
That started a festival of Merle Haggard and it was just what the doctor ordered. As he sang through my speakers, "... blues, stay away from me ... blues, why don't you let me be ..."
Yeah, that's the ticket.
Mari's Happy Merle Haggard Playlist:
- Kern River
- The Bottle Let Me Down
- Blues Stay Away From Me
- Branded Man
- Natural High
- Swinging Doors
- I Think I'll Just Stay Here & Drink
- Mama Tried
- I'm a Lonesome Fugitive
- Sing Me Back Home