Monday, May 18, 2015

Into each life some rain must fall

I have long believed that education helps me (us) to make sense of the world, the universe, like how we played connect the dots as kids.  We created shapes out of those dots.  Education--not the one that is measured by the diploma but one that is a never ending activity in life--helps us connect the dots that we observe around us.

As we connect the dots, we make order out of the chaos out there.  After all, the cosmos is.  It is up to each and every one of us to make sense of it.  Of course, we can always be lazy and "outsource" connecting the dots to religious leaders, to thinkers, and even to charlatans and believe what they describe as the real thing.  But, a long time ago, I chose to make those connections myself.  The way you connect the dots might be different from mine, as apparently will be the case even on issues like this one, which makes life that much more interesting too.

In such an exploration, aha moments abound.  We think the aha moments always have to be on important breakthroughs, like Archimedes running naked out of the bath after figuring out why and how things float or sink.  But, aha moments happen all the time--if we are consciously connecting the dots, that is.

My aha moment today is why I have "Into each life some rain must fall" in the title of this post.

This is the second post with that exact title; when I blogged about it earlier, a few months ago, I had simply borrowed that from the Ella Fitzgerald classic.  Today, I found out there is more about that line.

But, that aha breakthrough didn't happen because I was reading about the singer or the song.  No, sir. No, ma'am.  There I was reading an essay on students in higher education who are the first from their families to ever go on to college. While discussing the situations those students face, the author, who teaches at the University of Michigan, writes:
They remind me of the Longfellow poem "The Rainy Day," which includes this line made famous by the Ink Spots in the 1940s: "Into each life some rain must fall."
Aha!  "Into each life some rain must fall" was a line in a Longfellow poem?

Google then helped me connect the dots, instead of making me stupid, and I tracked down the poem by H.W. Longfellow:

The Rainy Day
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

The cosmos makes that much more sense now.

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