My usual Sunday evening habit involves watching English comedies on OETA (PBS). I usually set aside "me" time to watch "Keeping up Appearances," "As Time Goes By" and "The Vicar of Dibley."
Well, imagine my delight when at the end of "Vicar" (the Christmas pageant episode, BTW, good to the bone!) OETA goes straight into "Great Performances: A Tribute to James Taylor."
Swoooooon! I was taken right back to 1973 when his music first warmed up my heart. How could it not when you hear Carole King singing "You've Got a Friend" as Taylor sat in the audience. My heart was beating faster, hoping against hope that he would leap up on the stage and sing with her.
And then, a voice cracked with emotion picks up "Winter, spring, summer or fall..." as Taylor walks onstage (from the back. Like the rest of us James is past the leaping on stage part of life.)
Now he's singing "Shed a Little Light" -- a song written to honor the birthday of Martin Luther King. Beautiful. Beautiful.
His final song for the night: "How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you). Taylor's brother, Livingston, his two youngest boys and wife joined the party onstage.
Tonight I celebrate the serendipity of stumbling across this program at the exact moment my spirit needed it. What a great way to bid goodnight to this weekend. And my memory flies back to that time in 1973 when several of my friends and I sat around on a Friday night at the Wesley foundation listening to a James Taylor album playing on the stereo, in candlelight. It got very quiet that night when "You've Got a Friend" played, until the chorus.
Through the dark, through the years...
you just call out my name, and you know wherever I am I'll come running to see you again.