Steve Madewell

Pedestrian Ramblings

The other day I was standing on the side porch and it was five degrees. Cardinals were singing in the big trees on the shoulder of the valley. All I could think was this is optimism. The wonderful thing about optimism is it is contagious. Now I am not so simple minded to think that they were singing because they were happy (of course who really knows the answer to that question). But rather they were singing because the days are getting longer and it is time for them to begin their mating ritual. Singing is in fact, their beginning efforts on a journey to perpetuate their species. However I might choose to look at it their simple little tune certainly cheered me up, and helped me face what was promising to be an otherwise dreary and stressful day. In light of the current economic and social conditions it is, or would be certainly easy to fall into an abyss of despair. If you don’t know someone who has lost his or her job consider yourself lucky. Maybe you have lost your job? I’m sorry if you did and I hope things will improve for you. There is a lot of bad mojo going round. I was talking to someone a few months back about choosing to be happy. I think being happy is often times a choice. One that I didn't make as many times as I could have. I had written a song called Sleeping on the Wrong Side Of The Bed, (and with a little prodding I hope to finish recording) which is about this very thing. Not too long after we were talking about this, he lost his job. Last week we were visiting again and after being unemployed for nearly 6 months he has found a level of happiness that had previously escaped him. He told me that it was unfortunate that while he had a steady income stream, he hadn’t been able to be happy because he was so consumed with trying to get what he wasn’t able to afford. Now he simply couldn’t afford anything beyond essentials and he had let go of the desire to acquire things he realized he really didn’t need. I realize that there are so many people in dire straights, but as my friend said, he has a warm dry house with running water. Things that just a few years ago, or in other countries would be considered luxuries. So much is relative. Some things we can change some things we can’t. Attitude is a choice. I don’t really believe that anyone knows where these current situations will take us. I believe most of us recognize that we are in for some readjustments in life style. I hope we can be like my friend and choose to be happier in what ever situation we are in. If a Cardinal can find something to sing about on a five degree March morning, surely we can too. We need to be contagious.