Stepping Into the Flow
Inspired in large part by Nancy Sporborg, who commissioned the song, "The Gracewave" this summer, my family said YES, YES, YES!! to a trip all across this magnificent country of ours (that's me and my sons Ben and Sam at the Grand Canyon, with photo credits to my husband Jim.)
To learn about Nancy--who was brave and brilliant enough to commission a song like this--and her journey, and her message, and her incredible book, "IT'S NOT ABOUT THE HIKE," to which this song is a companion piece, read on....
Nancy travels all around New England giving inspiring, uplifting, vibrant, connective talks, about how she came to write this book, and how the living of the story within it changed her life, and helps change others' lives as well.
In 2006, Nancy and her new friend Pat challenged each other to walk around downtown Keene, NH at lunchtime. Then to prepare and "train" to climb one of the smaller mountains of New Hampshire. Then to climb another. Then to climb all 67 4,000-footers in New England. And it didn't stop there. Something was happening. They climbed all through the summer. And deep into the winter. They climbed because something magical was happening. They were discovering that they were strong. They were discovering that the journey, each time, held challenges and surprises and delights that were inviting them, more and more, to open, to deepen, to breathe, to take in the world around them, and to celebrate their strength and the vibrancy of their lives. They started blogging about it. And more and more people started following the blog. They started talking about it, and more and more people came to their talks. Nancy's blog turned into a beautiful, expansive book of the progression of their hikes and the awakening of their spirits, filled with gorgeous photographs of nature and personal triumph, and a profoundly contagious kind of enthusiasm. [Nancy's web site] [Nancy's FaceBook page]
Something about this friendship, this journey, and this discovery of her own strength seemed to simply pick Nancy up and carry her along. As long as she showed up, willing, open, ready for anything, this wave she was riding seemed, quite simply, to carry her in its flow and celebrate her awakening.
Have you ever experienced this? A feeling that you are leaning into the unknown, uncertain exactly where you are headed or what is next, but FEELING deep within you that if you just stay present to this one moment, it will carry you beyond what you had previously known and understood, to someplace within yourself and all around you that is larger, deeper, truer, and finer than anything you could have thought to ask or wish for? Nancy calls this experience Riding the Gracewave. My assignment was to capture the essence of this feeling and amplify and celebrate it in song, so that when Nancy travels around the country to share her message and her book and the photos of her journey, she has a "soundtrack" for those images that allows others to FEEL it, and to know, deep in the essence of their being, that Nancy's journey is really just a reminder to all of us about the vibrancy of our OWN journey.
Anna Huckabee Tull
It starts with maybe, just a passing thought
Something contained within me, fleeting but sparkling on
And I could let it slip away
But something in me knows something’s beginning
If I just let myself come awake
Let it take root deep inside, and let me close my eyes
Here comes the Gracewave, ahhhh
Here comes the Gracewave, ahhh
Well I’ve faced my fears,
Now I’m way out past the comfort zone
Past all the things I’ve known
Something new is here, gonna rise up and play my part
Gonna follow, follow my heart
And dream the biggest dream I have inside
Feel it deeply come alive, as I open wide
I’m riding the Gracewave, ahhh
I’m riding the Gracewave, ahhh--ahhh
And now my life is my message
More than ever before
Gonna ride… through all these opening doors
Yes! Yes! to all that’s coming my way
Yes! Let me hear you, let me hear you say
We’re riding the Gracewave, feel it rise
We’re riding the Gracewave, fills me up inside
Riding the Gracewave, makes me feel so alive
Riding the Gracewave, all I have to do
All I have to do is
All I have to do is ride, ride, ride
(c) Anna Huckabee Tull/CustomCraftedSongs.com
I worked on this song sitting on my woods-surrounded back deck, and on a lakeside in Maine. I worked on it staring up at the sky, and hiking to the top of a hill, and watching the turtles in our pond. When it was finished, I found myself humming it in the grocery store parking lot, and on the drive to pick up my kids form school. It just got INTO me! I am delighted to be able to share it with you now, and to give credit to the many fine souls who brought their musical two-cents to the process:
- Paul Lenart, on acoustic guitars 1 and 2, electric guitar, and bass
- Larry Luddecke, of Straight Up Music, on piano, organ, and shaker
- Marty Hennum (my dear improv theater friend from college) on backing vocals
- Don Sporborg on percussion
- Anna Huckabee Tull on lead vocals
- Eric Kilburn, of Wellspring Sound, on mixing and mastering (and lots of good advice!)
- Nancy Sporborg - a steady, loving presence in the mixing room
- Ben Tull - my 13-year old came to observe Nancy's husband Don add the drum tracks, so he could dream of a day in the not-too-distant future where he will join me, percussively, in the recording booth! I can hardly wait for that day!
- PS - That's my beloved nephew Mitchell Tijerina with his arms spread wide to the sky in the photo up above, on the very lake in Maine where I wrote much of this song this summer. His mom, my husband's sister Christy Tull, gets the credit for that beautiful photo.