Sunny Side Up

I was in a funk yesterday.

In response to a writing prompt word of “dear” I wrote a letter to the future, apologizing for the failures of our generation. (You can read it here.)

It was a rainy, yucky day and I felt very “bleh.”

We had planned to spend the evening at a show – “Coal Camp Memories” – in which the author/actress portrays a coal camp resident as she ages from ten-year old girl, to teenager, to young mother to old widow. I had been looking forward to this. The actress is someone I know and admire. I hadn’t seen her (except on Facebook) for years.

I’ll admit, I wavered.

I wanted to go, yet I didn’t want to go.

After all, I felt “bleh”; it was raining; it was Friday night of a rough news week.

Did I mention I felt “bleh?”

But my wish to see my friend outweighed the “bleh.”

We went.

I’m glad.

The performance reminded me that past generations faced bleak times and conditions, too.

Life in coal camps was hard and unjust.

It was day to day and hand to mouth.

Subsistence living.

Yet, there was community. Neighbors helping neighbors. Family members supporting one another. Love. Laughter. Music. Storytelling.

And conditions have improved over the years. (Still not ideal, mind you, but improved.)

During the show, we heard the song “Keep on the Sunny Side” and were reminded that even in very dark times, there is a “sunny side.”

I sat in the church pew, listening to “Keep on the Sunny Side” and looked around at the Advent decorations in the sanctuary.

My “bleh” began to dissolve in the presence of the show’s message of resilience, the music’s optimism, and the hope of the season. Figure of a coal miner (carved from coal). With ornament of "Hope."

Yes.

My generation is messing up.

Past generations did, too.

And guess what, future generations?

So will you!

We – and you – need to take note and continue our efforts to improve things.

We can’t let “bleh” take over our general outlook.

Keep on the sunny side, my friends.

Always on the sunny side.

There’s a dark and a troubled side of life

But there’s a bright and a sunny side too

Though you meet with the darkness and strife

The sunny side you also may view

 

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side

Keep on the sunny side of life

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way

If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

 

Though the storm and its furies rage today

Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear

The clouds and storms will, in time, pass away

And the sun again will shine bright and clear

 

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side

Keep on the sunny side of life

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way

If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

 

Let us greet with the song of hope each day

Though the moment be cloudy or fair

And let us trust in our Savior always

He’ll keep us everyone in his care

 

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side

Keep on the sunny side of life

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way

If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

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