My new teenager (!?) and I enjoy listening to the radio as we tool around to the various places we go. One of the songs we both like these days is Lukas Graham’s  “7 Years.” Though there is a line or two that we needed to discuss (smoking herb, etc.), we both hear and appreciate the story within Graham’s lyrics.

 

 

Of course, the perspective my son has as he listens is drastically different than mine. His life is pretty much in front of him—there are only a couple of Graham’s verses that he is old enough to be “beyond.”

For me, there is but one verse left as Graham’s song is written. This got me thinking about what my own version of the song might be like. I don’t have the talent to replicate Graham’s thoughtful lyrics, but I do think that I can apply and adapt the concept of his age verses to my own life story. Of course, my “onces” will outnumber his, and…my remaining “soons” will be much nearer to me, but…you get the idea.

Once I was seven years old, my daddy told me,
“You can be anything you want to be.”
Once I was seven years old. 

Once I was eleven years old, my mama told me,
“Be careful you don’t let yourself get hurt.”
Once I was eleven years old. 

Once I was twenty-one years old, my story got changed
One September afternoon, my life lost its fortress
Once I was twenty-one years old.

Once I was thirty-five years old, my focus transformed
Two became three, my heart grew three sizes
Once I was thirty-five years old. 

Soon I’ll be fifty years old, fewer chapters to be written
Not sure where life will find me
Soon I’ll be fifty years old. 

Soon I’ll be eighty years old, will I have lived boldly?
Will my man still know what makes me smile?
Will my arms be filled with little ones begging “read me another one!”
Will I have memories that warm me or will they be lost to me?
Soon I’ll be eighty years old. 

Once I was seven years old, my daddy told me,
“You can be anything you want to be.”
Once I was seven years old.

Okay, so I’m no Lukas Graham. There’s a reason my words don’t get set to music. Changing the ages to adapt to my own journey makes my lyrical attempt even clunkier, but—those times are some of the markers on my heart that have impacted my life verses.

I think to when I was my son’s age and what I might have thought and felt listening to such a song back then. Hope. Anticipation. Imagination. Promise. Faith. So much left to unfold. I pray that he feels the hope and joy of where those as yet-to-be-written verses might take him on his life journey.

 

journey via freddie marriage

 

And even though I am much farther along in my song, I pray the same for me—for all of us. We don’t know how many verses we will be blessed with, but for whatever number remain, facing them with hope…anticipation…imagination…promise…faith—and let’s add in love and courage and kindness—gives us a better chance at living them fully. Even though the more verses we’ve lived the more bumps, bruises, and sometimes full-on beatings we endure, losing sight of those things is indeed…losing.

Maybe it is those elements that should make up the chorus of our lives—something that we can return to time and again that threads through our song and sustains us into our final verse.

Live your life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten.
~Natasha Bedingfield, “Unwritten”

 

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