It's late evening on Whitefish. A few minutes ago, I picked up the phone to call my son, Coleman, to thank him again for the great visit here this morning. He said he was just reaching for the phone to call me and let me know that the sunset was worth checking out. Earlier this morning we sat outside on the grass overlooking the lake and talked about life from pretty much every angle. As we did so, we were entertained by the local wildlife. A red-tailed hawk flew over the lake in front of us, not once but twice. Coleman commented that he'd seen one over at his dad's house recently and later, that same day, he'd seen one sitting on a utility pole near his house many miles away. Shortly after the hawk, a trio of Canada geese flew by, serenading us with their honking. Then, a loon popped out of the water, calling across the morning.
The sunlight felt so kind and good, warming the place where we sat. We started talking about how a song can show up at the oddest and most interesting times, offering a message of reassurance. Unbeknownst to Coleman, for several years the Beatles, "Let It Be," has done just that. It goes back to the day of my mother's funeral in February of 2000. I have mentioned before that it was a very snowy day, the only real blizzard that winter. At the graveside service, as we each had finished placing a rose on top of her casket, my brother Jerry's oldest son stepped forward and sang, a cappella, "Let It Be." He has a wonderful voice and it was a sweet and unexpected gift. I asked him about it later and he said that as he was getting ready to leave Denver for the funeral he just knew he was supposed to sing it at the funeral, graveside. It was a beautiful moment under the green canopy with winter in full force.
Five years later I was sitting in the Albuquerque airport waiting to catch the early morning flight back to Minnesota for my dad's funeral - he had passed on the day before - when a father and son walked into the almost empty waiting area and sat just two seats down from me. The teenage son was wearing a t-shirt of the Beatles album, "Let It Be."
It began showing up with some regularity from that point forward. I was driving across Pennsylvania last fall, en route back to Minnesota, when it came on the radio. I started paying attention and knew I was supposed to exit. I found myself crossing two lanes - safely mind you - and exited to see a Comfort Inn almost hidden in the woods that surrounded this small town below the interstate. I pulled in just before dark and found I had earned travel points worth a free night's stay.
As we sat talking, Coleman said he heard a song on the radio as he was driving over this morning that seemed to be speaking to him. I asked which song and he replied, "Let It Be," by the Beatles.