Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fields of Gold

Every once in a while you hear a song that speaks to a deeper part of you. Words aren’t enough to describe the feelings; you just know something is happening in your soul. One of these songs for me is Fields of God. This song is a little old school, so I will attach a link for you to check it out--Fields of God. The song was written by a creative, English gent named Sting. I like Sting. He has one of those unique voices that you couldn’t copy, even if you moved to England to develop an accent, and owned a karaoke machine. He is one the few artists that can take me to another world when he is singing. Regardless of what I am doing, I get lost in his music. Besides his incredible voice, his songs tell stories.

A couple years ago I was heading to Arizona with my wife and family, driving across the desert to her aunt’s house in Prescott. Not to bash on the AZ, but I’d visited several times before and left unimpressed. I even wrote a poem below:


It was hot

There was sand

There were cacti

And Steve Nash


We’d been driving for what seemed like forever in road trip time, and I was cramped in the back of a mini van… and my legs were restless. (I’m pretty sure I have some mild form of restless leg syndrome.) To say the least, I was ready to be done with the road trip thing. I decided to get lost in some tunes. I put my headphones on, closed my eyes and let the i-pod do its magic. After some time, the song Fields of Gold started to play. Around the same time, our minivan traveled around a canyon of some sorts, and to the right side I saw fields of yellow grass, gracefully bowing to the wind. The cinematography was impeccable, almost like it was a movie. I had a moment in the back of the mini van, listening to Sting, watching this field of gold sway to the rhythm of the music. Arizona was beautiful when Sting was singing to me.

This memory stuck with me for some time. I was reminded of it recently when I went to Barnes and Noble. Inside the everything-is-only-$5-section, I found a book written by Sting, explaining the meaning of many of his songs. Immediately, I turned to the index and found Fields of Gold. I turned to the page to read the lyrics, and Sting’s brief commentary. He said he used to watch tall, golden barley stocks sway in the wind in his countryside home in England. He said it was poetic, like the sky was telling a story to the golden barley field that it would never forget: earth and sky participating in a great love affair, touched by the heavens. I believe the song is about more than Sting’s affinity for agriculture; it’s a tale of love.

The mystery of love is that the heart has the capacity to give it and receive it in great quantities. Moreover, love has the capacity to change people. One of the peculiarities of love is the propensity of it to come and go. In this journey of life we love and lose, and give and take. Heart-break occurs and futures change. It’s almost like the inevitable pain of young romance, prepares us to love more deeply and more truly one day. It makes you wonder, though, if there could be a love affair so pure and so strong that it gets trapped somewhere between heaven and earth.

At my wedding, I watched my beautiful bride walk down the aisle—our eyes, fixated on one another. We danced at our reception, swaying to the music, caught up in the story of us. I had a great uncle and aunt who attended the wedding. They’d been married for over 50 years. The entire guest list cheered wildly when they were announced as the longest married couple in the room. Everyone loves a good love story because it points us to something deeper than the temporary. Great love stories never go to the grave; they live on in our world, reminding us of its great gift.

One of the lines from Fields of Gold describes the sun in the jealous sky. That line has always haunted me. I know my days are numbered, and as the Bible says, my life is but a blade of grass, a vapor that will quickly vanish. After a few years, my body will decay and disappear. Give it a few more years and my pictures will slowly come off the walls of family and friend’s homes. My memory will be relegated to a cardboard box in someone’s garage. But I believe a part of me will live on—that part of me that beheld love. I may pass on many things to those who come after me: old t-shirts, a guitar, a few dozen books…maybe even one of my Star Wars Pez dispensers. But the only truly meaningful memory I will leave behind is the memory of love. Hopefully, those who knew me best will remember my love and that will bless them. No matter how jealous the days will be of my life, how short my life on earth may be, a part of my love will never be forgotten. That is the part of me that will live on years after I’m gone. Love is the gift we can all leave behind.

1 comment:

  1. you know what song does that for me? it's a classical piece called "Fanfare for the Common Man," one of those ones that everyone knows but they don't realize it. i liked the song before i knew the title, but once i found out what it was called, i became lost in it. it's this just completely majestic piece that sounds like it was written for nobility, until you realize it was written for everyone, the "common man." you just picture the huge parade going on, with the rich and wealthy and royal throwing confetti at these men in rags walking down the middle of the road, looking around in wonder at the honor being ascribed to them by those "above" them.

    amazing. music can be such an eye opener.