Morning has Broken | How one song helped me cope with loss and embrace new life | by Susan H. Evans | Inspiring Story #159

Morning Has Broken | How one song helped me cope with loss and embrace new life | by Susan H. Evans | Inspiring Story #159

Susan is still coping with the loss of her Mother when she makes a major life move to help care for her Granddaughter. In this story, she shares how one song magically calmed her nerves and helped her see the light through dark and difficult times.

I moved to Baltimore eight months ago from a mountain town in Tennessee. My daughter was having a baby, and I wanted to help. Residual grief from my mother’s death haunted me, though, and I felt an alarming disorientation after the move. 

In May, my daughter returned to work, and I began caring for my granddaughter, driving 15 minutes to my daughter's house each morning. Sadness, loneliness, and fear gripped me as I gripped the steering wheel of my car, navigating traffic, unfamiliar roads, and construction detours. I felt lost, inside and out.

About two months ago, as I was searching on YouTube for something to listen to on the nerve-wracking drive, Cat Stephen's “Morning Has Broken” appeared. It had been a top hit in 1972.

Listening to the words and music, I felt as if I had entered a sacred place. Out of the gray light surrounding me, suddenly, sunlight poured through my car windows and flowed into my heart. My timorous mind calmed, my frayed nerves relaxed, my depression lifted, and an emotional and reverential chord struck deep within me. I felt lifted into a higher vibration, as if by magic.

Listening to the words and music, I felt as if I had entered a sacred place. 

I thought about this song and its relevance to my granddaughter. Viewed from her bright blue eyes, each of her mornings since her birth in February has been her “first morning{s},” as the song goes.  And every day, Evie -- like her namesake  -- rises in the light of Eden's reborn sun, as she awakens from her crib, sucks on her index finger, and stretches in her little blue sleeper sack. Every morning is a miracle and revelation, each of her days “spring{ing} fresh from the world,” with an ever-increasing awareness of earth’s “sweet” rains, heavenly sunlight, and “fresh dewfall on the first grass.”

Cat Stephens sings that each dawn is “God’s re-creation of the new day,” and I could add that Evie, too, and all babies, are “re-creations,” each unique and beautiful as the sunrise bursting through the clouds, and come to us like heavenly beams of radiant light piercing this dark, sad world.

I know that Evie pierces my soul every morning, giving me hope, joy, and a renewed love for life.

 The child is full of joyful life herself, so wreathed in little smiles, her blue eyes wide and sparkling, as I lift her up into my arms. I watch how she embraces her pink unicorn, giggles delightedly at her daddy’s peek-a-boo, and drums her fat little legs as hard as she can for the pure fun of it. I laugh, too, and lay some of my grief aside, little by little.

You see, I, too, am being re-created and given new life, healing from an overwhelming sense of loss. Evie is like a little candle, and her light rekindles my own.

So now, as I drive these city streets lined with trees and row houses during this lovely Indian summer, I rise beyond the traffic congestion, the bad drivers, and the twisty roads, and I give thanks that every morning is a gift for me, and “mine (not just Evie’s) is the sunlight, mine is the morning,” and I, too, was “born from that one light.”

Meet Susan H. Evans

Hi.  I'm Susan, and I recently moved to Baltimore. My daughter has just given birth to my  first grandchild.  I am thrilled!

I write and teach writing at a community college. I am published in many online and print magazines. Since writing this piece, I have not seen a katydid!

Connect with Susan on her Facebook page here:

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Share the Inspiration
  • Evelyn Suarez says:

    Thank you Susan for sharing your inspiring story. I can relate the depth of loss as I loss my newborn niece 6 years ago. I was already healed today from grief.

    • Karletta Marie says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your dear niece Evelyn. My brother and sister-in-law lost their newborn son not long after he was born. I have never seen anything as precious as his little face, so cherub like, his little tiny pink lips. I will never forget him – my little nephew Michael. xo

  • Karletta Marie says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. You touched my heart and I found myself singing “Morning has Broken.” Music is such a power healer and motivator. I have a special fondness for the Perfect Symphony with Andrea Borcelli and Ed Sheeran. Always moves me. I also use instrumental music in the background as I write. My favorites are The Piano Guys and Simply Three.

  • Luna Dawn says:

    My sweet Susan, my deepest and sincerest condolences about your mother. Grief is not an easy path and it has many layers. I am happy that this song became that bridge you needed between you and your granddaughter while coping with grief. Thank you for this inspirational story. Sending so much love to you!

  • Barbara Kane says:

    So sorry for the loss of your mother. I’m glad you are finding a path to joy. I know how music can turn things around and I love Cat Stevens’ music. I especially liked how Evie is a little light for you now. I am going to listen more to Cat Stevens!

    • Susan H Evans says:

      Thank you for your kind words. The song was originally a children’s hymn that Cat Steven’s found in a book while searchng for inspiration in a British used book store. Stevens changed it a little and added music. He wanted to release the song as a single, but his record company thought it was too religious sounding. Stevens recorded a single anyway, and it was the number one best seller for the record company. It is a beautiful song.

    • Karletta Marie says:

      I agree Barbara – I really liked the way Susan weaves her precious granddaughter, this song and her life into this piece. I also thought of Evie growing older and always knowing how precious she was to Grandma. These stories we tell live on. xoxo

  • Jenny says:

    I love that music and lyrics have so much power. I definitely have certain songs which always lift me up.

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