Sunrise, Sunset

30 03 2014

Between one sunrise and sunset, I found out that a friend had a baby and that another friend had died. I was filled with joy for one and so filled with sadness for the other.

stained glass

This cycle of life was beautifully illuminated a few days later when I went to see the play, Fiddler on the Roof. A church was putting on the production and I had several friends who were a part of the cast and production. I must admit that I went with a less than enthusiastic attitude. The movie had been a family favorite when I was a young girl. The thought of a bunch of non-Jewish, southern-accented, non-actors putting on this classic musical, well…all I could think was, bless their hearts for their attempt. My friends always support me, the least I could do was show up for their worthy endeavor.

The play was in the sanctuary of a lovely old downtown church and the stained glass windows glowed with the light of the setting sun as evening settled in around us. From my wooden chair in the balcony, I soon became swept up in the timeless tale of family and community.

The last time I saw the movie I was a young girl and identified with the daughters whose adult lives were just beginning. I now related to the parents who just want the best for their children as they worry about bills and the tragedies and uncertainties that life brings.

I now watched this story with adult eyes and finally understood why my dad so identified with the main character. A good hard-working man who loved his family and his community, it’s traditions, and did the best he could do in an ever-changing world. My dad loved this story so much, the song Sunrise Sunset was played at his funeral even though for many it is a wedding song. My tears spilled out when the cast sang this song about the seasons of life. I was grateful for the connection to my dad and the realization of how my views of life have changed and evolved as the years have slipped away.

I thank my friends for giving our community this timeless tale. As the sun rises and sets on our days, it is all about life and love and relationships with our family, friends and community. L’chaim.

Dedicated to Tara Dark: I’ll see you on the other side.

Sunrise, Sunset

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day

They look so natural together
Just like two newlyweds should be
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

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32 responses

30 03 2014
Cathy

This was the first play I saw on Broadway. It moves us all in its timeless devotion to the themes of family and tradition. I am so glad you wrote this, Connie. It doesn’t matter where you see a play as long the message resonates.

When my dad was a young father and there was no temple where we lived, he got a few people together and started one in a garage, the only available place that cost no money.

Years earlier, a Catholic family saved my dad, uncle & grandparents from the Holocaust by finding passage on a cargo boat headed to the US.

Why am I telling you this? Your post reminds me that we are all connected, and seeing Fiddler in a southern church doesn’t matter. It’s the theme of friendship and family that does. Powerful stuff.

PS I wouldn’t allow our wedding band to play Sunrise, Sunset because I knew it’d make me cry too hard. The words “get me” every time!

30 03 2014
Lisa Garon Froman

Cathy, thank you for sharing this. It’s very moving to hear about what your dad and family members went through. I’m glad they found a home here. Hugs.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Cathy, I realized it was a perfect play for a church community to put on because it is a story about community and a personal relationship with God. And they did a really fine job too. I know that you and I were blessed with wonderful dads and family. Thanks for sharing your story, I’m grateful that my post today spoke to you.

30 03 2014
Lisa Garon Froman

A beautiful post Connie. The words to that song make me tear up!

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Lisa, I can just hear the music to that song and cry,

30 03 2014
Juanita McGregor

Connie,
My hat is in my hand as i dip my chin. No wonder it was such a pleasure seeing you on Friday.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Juanita, your kind words inspire me to write more. Thank you.

30 03 2014
Jen

Very uplifting post. Thank you, Connie.
Although I have a good relationship with him, I will try and have more patience and empathy with my elderly, widowed father. I am one of his caregivers and I can see him watching the “Sunrise, sunset”.
I have a vivid memory from my childhood when my cousin was visiting. We were both about 7-8 yrs old. My cousin was practicing Catholic and telling me what she knew about her religion. I was so very interested that I began, even at that young age, to explore and learn about as many religions as I could find a reference to in the library. No internet back then, remember? I wondered how there could be so many different religions and many of them had such similar themes. I quickly came to the “childish” (maybe) conclusion that the different religions were like different telephone lines all connecting to God.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

It is hard to have that patience with an aging parents. I have a wonderful relationship with my 85 year old mother and she often exasperates me. I don’t think the different phone lines to God is childish at all. It sounds very wise.

30 03 2014
Marielle

Beautiful!

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks!

30 03 2014
Jules Ruckstuhl

My dad died Feb 27. 2 weeks later my daughter found out she was pregnant. Instantly I have moved up a generation.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Julie, there is an amazing synchronicity in that. Hugs to you and Chelsea.

30 03 2014
Sheryl

This is beautiful story, Connie. And the show – especially this song – always makes me cry. It’s sentiments are so true and beautifully put those feelings and sentiments into words so perfectly.

30 03 2014
javaj240

Lovely post, Connie.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is one of my favorite musicals. I think, as you discovered, that the tale is both timeless and universal.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

It is a lovely tale and the music is wonderful. It was great to hear/see it again.

30 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks! It was a gift to see it again.

31 03 2014
Carol Cassara

You’re right. It’s all about L’chaim. This was my first B’way play, too, and it stuck with me. You point out why. Thank you.
Carol
http://www.carolcassara.com

31 03 2014
conniemcleod

Carol, what a perfect play to be a first play. It is indeed timeless and works for all generations. Thanks for stopping by.

31 03 2014
mindy trotta

The message the story brings forth is timeless and crosses all races and religions. You said it beautifully, Connie!

31 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks Mindy, I now need to watch the movie again.

31 03 2014
Thom Harris

Nice write Connie. Wish Teresa & I could have made that show.

Thom

From: Connie McLeod Reply-To: Connie McLeod Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014 7:39 AM To: Thom Harris Subject: [New post] Sunrise, Sunset

WordPress.com conniemcleod posted: “Between one sunrise and sunset, I found out that a friend had a baby and that another friend had died. I was filled with joy for one and so filled with sadness for the other. This cycle of life was beautifully illuminated a few days later when I went t”

31 03 2014
conniemcleod

Thanks Thom.

2 04 2014
Musings on Motherhood and Mid-Life

Connie, I sang this song (Sunrise, Sunset) at my sister’s wedding. The show Fiddler on the Roof has so much meaning because it kind of describes the circle of life, and as we get older we understand it so much more. My husband is not Jewish but he says the story really had an impact on him when he saw it in South Africa as a little boy. Beautiful post. Sorry for your loss of your friend.
Estelle

3 04 2014
conniemcleod

Estelle, kudos to you for being able to sing that beautiful song without crying. Thanks for commenting.

3 04 2014
Suzanne Robertson

Connie that play is timeless,.. it touches me everytime I see it. Even the production at the junior high that my youngest son was involved in was somehow magical. Those famous words seem to touch us all. It really is about relatiionoships. I’m pleased to have found your blog. You write with reason, clarity and emotion. Thank you and sorry for your loss.
Suzanne
http://www.chapter-two.net

3 04 2014
conniemcleod

Suzanne,I’m glad you found my blog too and thanks for commenting. You are right, the story of Fiddler is such a powerful and universal story, it transcends the actual performance.

3 04 2014
Suzanne Robertson

Sorry for the typo… “relationships” 🙂

3 04 2014
Ray Gaspard

Connie, thanks so much for your kind words, I was the guy playing Tevye. I cannot tell you in this small forum, what the show and that congregation mean to me. I joked many times about rich white protestants playing poor Russian Jews, what could got wrong, right? But I have to say the support and the dedication from everyone in the cast was second to none, and I’ve done a few Fiddler’s in my time. So glad you enjoyed it and felt so connected with the message…mission accomplished! “TRADITION”!

3 04 2014
conniemcleod

Ray, your stellar performance made the play. It is always a joy to watch you act. Thanks for commenting!
Connie

30 03 2017
Stan Dark

Thank you again for the dedication to Tara. It means so much to me.

30 03 2017
conniemcleod

Hugs

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