|Photo by Adrian Pingstone|
"One for sorrow, two for joy
Three for a girl and four for a boy
Five for silver, six for gold
And seven for a secret never to be told."
I'm not very superstitious and yet I always look for the second magpie. At this time of the year they're usually alone because one of them is on the nest, but if you hang around for a minute or two another will appear. My mother tells a story of one day when she was cycling to work as a young woman - they had to go about 4 or 5 miles. The guy who was cycling with her spotted one magpie and being really superstitious went off the road in search of the second one. As a result they were both an hour late for work! I always thought that was hilarious - I'm sure it wasn't at the time but she laughs at it now.
Well I'm wondering would she laugh if she knew we have a pair of magpies nesting in our garden. Most people I know hate magpies.
But I love the idea that we'll always have joy.
There has been too much sorrow around in recent days and weeks and I need as much joy as I can find.
While the world reeled from the loss of life in Nepal and from all the horrors of life in the wars and riots around the world, we were mourning the loss of another member of our little choir. A relatively young man recovering from a minor operation on his knee - he died very suddenly four days later. Everyone's assuming it was a clot. I sang yesterday at his funeral and it was such a sad day. He was a fireman and had two young children and a beautiful wife. He was 51. You will be very much missed Larry.
As the choir gathered on Wednesday night I struggled to find songs to lift everyone's spirits. We were all on the brink of tears and everyone was singing flat. When one person left the room in tears I thought tea was needed, and gradually after lots of chat we managed a smile and even got a few laughs in the last few songs of the evening.
Singing gives great joy. It releases hormones not dissimilar to chocolate :) It's not always easy to sing when we're feeling fragile and broken and beaten by life or just by the stresses of the day. But if you can manage even to sing along to the radio or yell out a bit of AC/DC at the top of your voice in the shower, or hum a lullaby to a child, or sing along with Dolly, your mood will lift and it will lift very very quickly.
The world is in serious need of joy at the moment. Let's keep on singing.
I'm joining in today with Lisa for the 1 Word Blog Linkup.