Human Kindness is Overflowing

There's an old Randy Newman song running through my head.  I know it from Bette Midler actually.  One of those songs that makes a lump form in your throat even though you don't totally know why.  

Broken windows and empty hallways
A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's gonna rain today

It came in my head last week because I said those words, "I think it's going to rain today."  This is the rainy season.  It's supposed to rain every day, but this year has been light on the rain.  So last week sometime I told house guests I thought the rain was coming.  And that song came rushing back to me.

Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles
With frozen faces to keep love away
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's gonna rain today

It's such a beautiful song to sing and it's particularly well-suited for my voice.  So I've been finding my way back to it all week.  But the longer you sit with it the more those lyrics start to work on you.  It's a strange song.  The juxtaposition between the imagery of broken and empty - frozen faces to keep love away.  So sad.  So desperate.  

And then...human kindness that is overflowing.  And I think it's gonna rain today.

I find that's often how life feels here.  Really it's how it feels everywhere.  Sometimes the world seems so hard and cold and empty and broken.  We put our heads down and just get by. Lonely. Grey.

But then at the same time, there is so much kindness.  A word of understanding.  A good laugh.  Moments of connection.  Lately I've been working at the New Brookfields Hotel down the hill.  I'm on break from school and don't love working alone in my house all day.  Plus they have free popcorn :-) .  Every time I come in the staff greets me with recognition and genuine smiles.  Human kindness is everywhere to be found.  Around every corner.

Bright before me the signs implore me
Help the needy and show them the way
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's gonna rain today

I don't love that second line in the stanza...without a little unpacking.  Sometimes it's the "needy" who show us the way.  And I guess we're all a little needy in one way or another.  Needy means a lot of things.  But the first line is what gets me.  Bright before me the signs implore me.  Implore me.

I am reminded in my mediations on this song that there is good and there is evil.  We get to choose.  Right now sometimes it seems like evil is winning out, with it's division and poverty and pain.  But I have to believe. I must believe.  I do believe with all that I am that, for all the evil in the world, there is enough good to overwhelm it.  So in the face of what looks like very difficult odds, I choose to sing it again.  Human kindness is overflowing.  And I think it's gonna rain today.  

So much love to you, friends. 

Katie Meek