West Ham United, Pretty Bubbles and The Still-Hopeful, Melancholy Soul
I was thinking about Dad this morning and singing a song he often sang, just out of the blue, just to break up the silence. The song goes like this:
I’m forever blowing bubbles Pretty bubbles in the air They fly so high, they reach the sky Just like my dreams, they fade and die Fortune’s always hiding, I look everywhere I’m forever blowing bubbles Pretty bubbles in the air
I have used the song and my dad's affinity for it in a devotional before. You can read it here.
Anyway, I wanted to hear the song, so I jumped on YouTube to see if anyone was singing it. Imagine my shock when I learned that it is the anthem of an English soccer club! West Ham United of the English Premier League features the song at their matches, with the entire crowd singing it. It's like Harry Carey and the Chicago Cubs fans singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," only with more gusto and passion.
Now, I am no fan of soccer (or football, as the rest of the world that doesn't know better calls it), but I am now officially a fan of West Ham United. You just have to love a club that has for their anthem a song about shattered dreams and disappointment, and yet when they sing it, it sounds like hope rather than heartbreak.
Maybe it is because they have perspective. Being a European football idiot, I had to do a little research to see what this West Ham bunch is all about. I learned that the club was founded in 1895 as the Thames Ironworks FC.
In WHU's (yeah, I am down with the acronym, because I am cool like that) long and rocky history, they have enjoyed brief glimpses of glory, but seem to have spent most of their time trying to hang on to their place in the top tier of league play, having been bounced out of it at least a half dozen times by my count and then having to claw their way back up.
All of this brings me around to a point I need to make, and here it is: Some people, myself included, are predisposed to a touch of melancholy; moreover, some people (myself included) have a tendency to intuitively see the potential downside to everything.
Some would call these people pessimists, while they might label themselves realists.
The point here, however, is that if you find yourself among these people, you do not have to let your melancholy get the best of you. You do not have to give up. Your faith can be greater than your melancholy. You may always expect the worse, but that doesn't mean you cannot simultaneously hope for the best.
OK, so it may not last forever. Maybe the bubble will burst. But look how high it sailed. Look how pretty it was. Look how it danced in the sun for a time.
Keep blowing those bubbles.
And now an upbeat version of that wonderful little ditty.
Go West Ham United!