Today Carol posted the lyrics and a video of a song entitled Hello In There that deeply touched me. I played the video over and over again. The song is about growing older and I can more than identify with it. Please go to Carol’s blog and listen to it. Then come back here. OK?
With Alex curled up beside me on my desk, I sat quietly listening to the words of the chorus:
Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger, And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day. Old people just grow lonesome Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello."
I know that feeling—just grow lonesome—much too well. Thursday I had the first visitor to my house in over two years. She and I worked together when I was president and moderator of the Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ. That was before my breathing difficulties and gimpy leg so limited my movement that I seldom leave home. It was so very nice to have someone say, "Hello in there, hello."
The song, Hello In There, reminded me of another song: Michael Smith’s The Dutchman:
The Dutchman ~ John McDermott
The Dutchman's not the kind of man
To keep his thumb jammed in the dam
That holds his dreams in
But that's a secret only Margaret knows
When Amsterdam is golden in the morning
Margaret brings him breakfast
She believes him
He thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow
He's mad as he can be but Margaret only sees that sometimes
Sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes
Let us go to the banks of the ocean
Where the walls rise above the Zuiderzee
Long ago, I used to be a young man
And dear Margaret remembers that for me
The Dutchman still wears wooden shoes
His cap and coat are patched with love
That Margaret sewed in
Sometimes he thinks he's still in Rotterdam
He watches tugboats down canals
And calls out to them when he thinks he knows the Captain
'Til Margaret comes to take him home again
Through unforgiving streets that trip him
Though she holds his arm
Sometimes he thinks that he's alone and calls her name
The windmills whirl the winter in
She winds his muffler tighter,
They sit in the kitchen
Some tea with whiskey keeps away the dew
He sees her for a moment, calls her name
She makes the bed up humming some old love song
She learned it when the tune was very new
He hums a line or two
They hum together in the night
The Dutchman falls asleep and Margaret blows the candle out.
I feel rather sad that I have no dear Margaret (to) remember for me. I am so glad that I have Alex, who allows me to pick him up and hold and cuddle him.