Author’s note: I have been saving articles, notes, and paper scraps in files marked “Inspiration” and “Humor” for 30+ years. Time now to share what they mean to me.
I admired Pete Seeger (1919-2014) for many reasons that included his moving songwriting (“If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Bring Them Home”), his activism, his optimistic enthusiasm, and his great ability to draw people together and believe in peace when they were singing together. In an article by the Rev. Dan Shatz the author quoted him as saying, “If we can get the whole world laughing, we can move the world.” He got the whole world singing, which strikes me as just as good.
But the reason I saved this particular article was for the quote in which Pete Seeger spoke about when he and his wife lost their first child at the age of 6 months. His father wrote to him and said, “I don’t think I could cheer you up in the usual way. But remember this, that something good that has happened can never be made to unhappen.”
The good is always there. There is sorrow in loss, but it does not negate the joy that came before. It’s a life lesson worth absorbing and honoring. I’m so glad Pete Seeger happened.