Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time is a song inspired by themes in the story, Once I Was An Apple. The music and lyrics are written and performed by Calvin Cory, who is currently in the recording process. We look forward to sharing it with you very soon!
This year, I felt inspired by the idea of an allegory symbolizing a bittersweet pattern I saw recurring throughout my own life. As a middle aged adult now, I can look back and see that some of the most deeply painful moments involved a separation of some kind from a parent figure, or phase of life for which I had developed a love and comfort. I’m thinking of things like my mother passing away when I was 13, graduating high school, and the last official act of my own childhood–having a child of my own.
Sometimes these separation moments involved feeling left out, cold, confused and vulnerable outside the safety, love and support of the previous phase. But ironically, it was in the dark, lonely distance or exile that I came to know some of the deepest yearnings to make myself better, and seek to reach upward and find or create a situation where I could feel those same warm feelings again.
I saw that this pattern occurs from a microcosmic level, such as a baby leaving its mother’s womb, to a macroscopic level, including what I believe to be the purpose of life–leaving a Heavenly Father’s side to come down to Earth for this mortal and often difficult phase of our development. The pattern is visible all throughout the universe: a seed, or particle, breaks off and is separated from the thing which formed it. If it grows and develops, gathering more nutrients or elements to it, it can eventually become the thing from which it fell, producing the same seed it once was.
In every one of my own separation experiences, I always long to return to those moments, those joys of the earlier childhood phases. But in situations where I have finally found my way back, I am no longer able to enjoy things from the perspective I once did. Instead of being the star, I am the guy holding the stopwatch, the guy without a costume waiting out in the street at each house on Halloween, the one making sure the doors are locked at night. You’d think this would be an unfortunate and lackluster end, but on the contrary I enjoy these moments so much deeper, and with much greater, and longer lasting satisfaction. No longer the naive receiver, I return as the giver–and my joy in those moments comes from watching the growth of the ones receiving.
Thus in order to grow we must let go of that which supports us, often falling into error and uncertainty. Remembering the warmth of our past phases provides the essential motivations to return. Stumbling in our inexperience, we must choose whether the depth of our fall will remain the depth of our pain, or whether to stand and let it mark the depth of our joy and happiness.
In the end, the most tender moments of gratitude occur whenever we make it back, and begin to understand how much those who cared for us must have loved and believed in us before we yet knew how much of a difference that makes.