“Later is getting sooner all the time”

A month or so ago, I was standing around at coffee hour after church, talking with the sister-in-law of a friend. She had just arrived in town for a month-long internship that’s part of her last year of veterinary school. At some point in our conversation, I asked her what kind of veterinary practice she’s thinking of going into. She shook her head, laughed, and said, “You know, when I started school, I just kept thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll figure out what kind of vet I want to be later.’ Now that I’m in my last year, I’m realizing that later is getting sooner all the time.”

Ain’t it the truth!

For some reason, being on the cusp between winter and spring in New England really brings home the fact that later is getting sooner all the time. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, our brave and clueless crocuses have long since popped up. I saw one this morning that was already on the downside of its brief blooming cycle. Its petals were splayed out so it looked more like a tiny broken pinwheel than a spring flower.

True to form, after some gloriously warm weather last week, yesterday we had several hours of snow that eventually switched over to, oh, what do they call it, anyway? Dripping Fog? Wheezing Drizzle? Sideways Blowing Clouds? Of course, we’re due for more spring snow tomorrow and Thursday. Seeing all the tentatively-green grass poking up through the thin layer of snow yesterday made today’s Psalm/Psong a no-brainer.

Lori McKenna is one of those songwriters, like Patty Griffin, that other singers love to cover. She’s also one of those big-voiced singers in a tiny body, like Patty Griffin. How lucky we are to have these two singers and songwriters making such extraordinarily beautiful music. Psalmists like Lori McKenna (and Patty Griffin) make our journey from later to sooner so much richer, don’t they?

McKenna’s latest album, Lorraine, is chock-full of some knockout Psongs. This one’s called The Most. If your tears are anything like mine—always on the lookout for an opportunity to parade around your cheeks—you might want to have a tissue nearby. When she gets to the end and puts a different spin on the earlier verse about snow and hope, well….just stop reading and listen to Lori McKenna.

Lyrics for “The Most” by Lori McKenna:

My life is a grocery store line,
a “We’ll be just fine,
don’t know how we survive, but we do.”

My life is an early spring snow,
the last thread of hope that I just keep hanging onto.

My life is pieces of paper that I’ll get back to later.
I’ll write you a story how I ended up here,
and how the little things make us,
and how long it takes us
to figure out what matters the most.

My life is a two dollar beer,
yeah, Friday nights here
with friends that I’ve known since high school.

My life is an order to go,
a rainy car ride back home,
and someone you love to lay next to.

My life is pieces of paper that I’ll get back to later.
I’ll write you a story how I ended up here,
and how the little things make us,
and how long it takes us
to figure out what matters the most.

Someday, well I’ll look back and wonder.
Someday comes around a little quicker than they told you,
asking, “Did I do what I was supposed to in my life?”

Don’t know why the little things make us,
and sometimes it takes us
too damn long to figure what matters the most.

My life is green grass through the snow,
a sweet reckless hope,
and baby I know what matters the most.

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2 responses to ““Later is getting sooner all the time”

  1. Or, in the immortal words of the great Yogi Berra, “It gets late early out there.”

  2. or Irish mist!

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