When I was in my early twenties I worked part time at a record store. One of my favorite aspects of the job was being able to play top 40 music cranked at ridiculous volumes. Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever solo album was big that year, and its first track “Free Fallin'” was my favorite tune. Do you remember how it started?
She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She's a good girl, who's crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too
I was also a young woman when Lady Diana Spencer was introduced to the world, shy, beautiful and curvy, in a stunning blue suit that is forever etched in my mind.
Sweet. Just sweet. All of it.
But sweet can be one of those inconclusive descriptors that the English teacher part of me wants kids to develop more when characterizing people. And yet I often use it myself, when addressing my students in particular. I do not use it lightly. Because sweet, to me means, kindness and courage, even in the not knowing. Kinda like those landmine shots of the princess with her face shield and Red Cross vest. It’s being you without knowing or perhaps even caring what the response will be.
And it’s hanging on to that you despite the outcome as well. Because it’s all you have sometimes: the honest belief in a better tomorrow and the goodness of people.
Sadly, our world does not easily accept “the sweet” as a viable individual. I think of Ophelia for example, fictitious I know, but as with most Shakespearean characters, more real than not. Overshadowed by Hamlet’s issues, her traumatic losses and sudden abandonments are disregarded, her strength and beautiful nature ignored.
Sweet people are often the sensitives. Their natures perhaps developed from knowing all too well how people are feeling and why they react the way they do. To some they may be seen as the people pleasers. I am a self confessed one then in the sense that I love to think I made one person’s life brighter because I know how it feels when someone makes my load a little lighter. You do not always do it through words either. Rather, it is done where your strengths lie: at the frame, with knitting needles, a homemade card or meal; an offer of a farmer’s wrap and coffee run in between classes, sweet Ella H.
And the sweets are the creatives. There has to be an outlet for the vulnerability. It can be hard work keeping the faith and understanding others’ actions. You need the breakaway time for some free fallin’, if you will.
And if you’re lucky, as I was, you find a partner with just a tad more experience than you in life’s lessons, who is willing to help and support you in seeing the world as it is without taking away its beauty or yours. Who did Sunday morning Tim’s runs. Who serenaded you with those opening lines of Tom Petty’s song quite regularly in your 30 years together.
Sweets for the sweet 💞