“A Song of Love,” Feb. 1, 2022

Someday I’d like to make a list of all the things I’ve found while looking for something else.

Photos I’d forgotten. Bills I meant to pay. Or a missing lid to a bowl that finally turned up the day after I broke the bowl.

This may sound a bit odd. But sometimes it seems I need what I “happen” to find more than I needed what I was looking for.

Well, except a lid to a broken bowl. Anyhow. The point I want to make is this: Life sometimes gives us what we need, even if we didn’t know we needed it.

Take this morning. I was looking for something online. Never mind what. I honestly can’t recall. But in the process, I came upon a quote I’d learned long ago, and forgotten.

I’ll tell you the quote, after I tell you how I learned it.

My first husband taught high school, coached basketball and loved being outdoors, running at the beach, camping in Big Sur or hiking in Yosemite Valley.

I loved those things, too. OK, I didn’t love hiking, but I did it. Our three children spent more waking hours outdoors than inside. It was good for them and especially good for their parents.

We also spent hours at games, both theirs and their dad’s. I like sports. And we ate at the snack bar, so I didn’t need to cook.

Those years passed all too quickly. Our two oldest were in college and our youngest was in high school when their dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. He battled it for four years, while we kept living the life we loved.

When he was no longer able to run or hike or teach or coach or take a walk around the block, he lay in his recliner reading John Muir’s writings on Yosemite.

He liked sharing Muir’s quotes with me. My favorite was this one I rediscovered today while looking for something else:

“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us….The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”

In the years since we lost their dad, my children and I have tried to honor his memory by moving forward, living our own lives, singing our own songs.

Reading that quote today, I recalled when he read it to me. And I thought of how happy he would be to know that our children and I are happy; how much he would like (and empathize with) the man I married; how proud he would be of the people our children have become; and what joy it would bring him to see how beautifully they are raising the grandchildren he never met.

Loved ones leave us, but their love remains to watch over us and pray for us and cheer us on with every step we take.

Shortly after I read that quote, I got a video from my son, Josh. He had hiked to a waterfall with Jonah, who is almost 3, riding in a pack on his daddy’s back.

In the video, Jonah told me that waterfalls are made of water and come from rain. Josh tried not to laugh, but gave me a knowing grin. Then they both waved goodbye and continued on their hike.

I wish you could’ve seen them.

I watched that video twice. And as I watched, I recalled a day years ago, hiking the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls in Yosemite (trying not to look over the cliff at certain death) and following Josh, who was almost 3, riding in a pack on his daddy’s back.

My children are teaching their children to love Nature the same way their dad taught them. And those children will teach their children to love Nature, too.

When we leave this world, we will leave behind us in the trees and flowers and birds and wind and rocks in the heart of the mountains—as well as in the hearts of our loved ones—our very own song of love.

I don’t remember what I was looking for today. But I’m glad that what I needed found me.


  1. I found a March 2020 column on Questions for here and now about what I want my children and grandchildren to know about me. Sadly, I cannot ask my parents these questions. This “find” was needed. Thank you for your insight and humor about life!

  2. Susan Costanzo says

    Love your stories. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. Sydney S Love says

    This was so beautiful as everything you write is. You write about life in such a lovely way. You are certainly blessed to write as you do and we are blessed to have the opportunity to read what you write. Don’t ever quit! Please, don’t ever quit!

  4. Nancy Becker says

    So beautifully written and shared. I love finding little blessings when I’m looking for something else. Thank you!

  5. Doris Hudson says

    Absolutely lovely.

  6. Love this. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Beautiful memories come at the most unexpected times. I look at a picture of us when we were such a young couple with the 4 kids. So much joy is shown. Time has come & gone. Now I look at the pic we had made on our 60th anniversary & see how the years have changed our looks. I wonder who those old people could be? Number 62 coming soon & no big plans have been made. We are thankful for the time we have now. God bless & keep you & yours.

  8. I love the quote.

  9. Kate Sciacca says

    Beautiful as usual. Sure can relate to “forgetting what I was looking for…” It happens in a nanosecond 😉. Last Friday the better half headed over the hill to hunt with his boys on Saturday and take Sunday to teach a couple of the older grandsons how to fly cast…. I stayed back as another son and DIL were planning to head here for the weekend…. They didn’t make it— but that was a chance for me to spend time being grateful for so many blessings… oh, and to organize my freezer and clean out a closet. Found some memories there too (in the closet, not the freezer…well…. Wait…😂😜)

  10. Beautiful!

  11. Patty Sue Ortiz says

    Thank you for this. I recently lost my husband, and this really spoke to me.

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