Weekly Challenge: Moved By Music: Southern Cross

When you see the Southern Cross for the first time, you’ll understand now why you came this way.

I don’t remember the first time I heard Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Southern Cross,” but I’m sure it was as soon as the video was released on MTV in the early 80s. I know that at that point in my life, I was learning how to sail and spent my summers on the waters of Lake Erie where I found great peace.

The song has resonated with me in a way no other song ever has. Every time I hear it, I’m filled with a great sense of freedom as I imagine myself out on a sailboat with the wind filling the sails. It holds the promise of achievement in staying true to a goal. It speaks of travel around the world and of adventure.

With an overwhelming amount of change in my life recently, I find myself searching for meaning, purpose and direction in life. I’m embracing the concept of things happening the way they are meant to even if it is beyond our comprehension at that moment.

Thirty years after first hearing it, the song has provided a completely different message. It has become a reminder that when I reach my destination, I’ll understand why I had to climb over the hurdles placed before me. When the road ahead seems clear at the start, but suddenly takes an unexpected turn, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to reach your initial destination; it’s more of a test for your resolve. How important is the goal? At what lengths will you go to achieve?

Failing is the easy way. Failure will happen despite best efforts. Giving up is easy. Continuing forward after setbacks is the hardest part, but well worth the effort.

…the truth you might be runnin’ from is so small. But it’s as big as the promise, the promise of a comin’ day.

Contemplating why a life hurdle was placed before you necessitates being introspective. We all hide certain truths from one another. It may be a small secret; it may be something we aren’t proud of. But our truths are always within us. These hurdles often appear so that we search within and find the lesson we are to learn.

My daughter recently painted a canvas for me that is hanging in my bedroom. It says simply, “When you see the Southern Cross for the first time…” It’s my continual reminder that while I may not understand why things happen, there’s an immense promise in tomorrow.

Southern Cross
Crosby, Stills & Nash 
1982

Got out of town on a boat
Goin’ to Southern islands.
Sailing a reach
Before a followin’ sea.
She was makin’ for the trades
On the outside,
And the downhill run
To Papeete.
Off the wind on this heading
Lie the Marquesas.
We got eighty feet of the waterline.
Nicely making way.
In a noisy bar in Avalon
I tried to call you.
But on a midnight watch I realized
Why twice you ran away.

Chorus
Think about how many times
I have fallen
Spirits are using me
larger voices callin’.
What heaven brought you and me
Cannot be forgotten.
I have been around the world,
Lookin’ for that woman/girl,
Who knows love can endure.
And you know it will.
And you know it will.
When you see the Southern Cross
For the first time
You understand now
Why you came this way
‘Cause the truth you might be runnin’ from
Is so small.
But it’s as big as the promise
The promise of a comin’ day.
So I’m sailing for tomorrow
My dreams are a dyin’.
And my love is an anchor tied to you
Tied with a silver chain.
I have my ship
And all her flags are a flyin’
She is all that I have left
And music is her name.

Chorus
Think about how many times
I have fallen
Spirits are using me
larger voices callin’.
What heaven brought you and me
Cannot be forgotten.
I have been around the world,
Lookin’ for that woman/girl,
Who knows love can endure.
And you know it will.
And you know it will.
So we cheated and we lied
And we tested
And we never failed to fail
It was the easiest thing to do.
You will survive being bested.
Somebody fine
Will come along
Make me forget about loving you.
At the Southern Cross.

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, EMI Music Publishing

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