No way to say no

Sunrise over La Palma, Spain. Photo courtesy of Luc Viatour

Sunrise over La Palma, Spain.
Photo courtesy of Luc Viatour

And it’s going to be a day
There is really no way to say no
to the morning

Yes it’s going to be a day
There is really nothing left to say
But come on morning    Dan Fogelberg

This verse is from  “To the Morning,” the first Dan Fogelberg song I ever loved, recorded in Nashville just two years before I moved there for college.  It remains my favorite of his songs to this day, though there are many that are dear to my heart.  More than anything else he sings, this one moves me to tears, especially during the beautiful orchestration near the end.

I listen to it now, to the wistful sound of music that is beautiful yet deeply touched with sadness, and wonder how on earth it spoke to me so many years ago when there were seemingly no real problems in my life.  But listening to it brings back a time when my future was a giant question mark, when I had no idea what to expect in the years to come, and when I often felt alone, longing for a place I belonged.

From the beginning, what touched me most about the song was its admission that days can be hard to face, seasons change, and love often hurts.  Yet the sun continues to rise, and life goes on.  I think we understand this on some level, even from an early age.

During the most difficult periods of my life, when I awaken and dread getting out of bed, the words and music of this song often play in my mind, encouraging me to embrace the inevitable, and give thanks for it.  Even when my heart is not in it, it helps to remember that there is really no way to say no to the morning.

One year ago today:

When there is nothing

A special request:

Cherie, one of our blog readers, has asked for prayers for her husband, who is facing a serious medical crisis related to complications from being hospitalized for diagnostic procedures.  Cherie, we are thinking of you and your husband!




  1. Good Morning to you, Julia! Here it’s foggy, but I love your picture. I love sunrises, especially over the water, perhaps because they are echoed back to near double the light and beauty!
    I remember once hearing that every sunrise is evidence that God still believes in us, and is giving us another day and another chance.
    Blessings on your day, all new and shiny (did that come from one of your quotes?) !

    • Thanks Susan, I don’t think I can take credit for that phrase, but I like it! Yes, the sunrise is another day filled with possibilities. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 143:8 – “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.”

  2. singleseatfighterpilot

    “. . . When I often felt alone, longing for a place I belonged . . .” Prior to your moving to Nashville, for about fifteen years, you and I lived in the same household – – I had no idea. At the same chronological age for me, mornings were a blurr of excitement and activity — especially when I would go from the “graveyard shift” to “days”, in the shift-rotation regimen we “enjoyed” at Owens-Illinois. I will always remember comparing college experiences with a young man from the University of Georgia: “If you want to make above a “C”, he told me about Bulldog Country, “you have to buy the textbook, and actually go to a few of the classes.” Ah, the college years – the best half-century of my life!

    • I remember your telling me about the tragic fire at the library of the University of Georgia, in which both of the books were completely destroyed. I was always proud to have a Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech in the family!

  3. Larry

    Sunrise is the calm of the day. It creeps over the horizon and slowly enlightens the sky The quiet of the morning is broken here by the sound of birds singing. It is a great way to start off the day with the beauty of the sky as it is illuminated. Look at the beauty of the morning and look anxiously for the first light. Hope you all have a great day.

    • Larry, this week I’ve been getting up when Jeff does and walking in the early morning light, and the birds make such lovely music that I don’t even listen to my MP3 player! As much as I love sleeping in, being outside in the morning is even better! Hope you have a great day too. Give Sadie a kiss for us.

  4. Beth

    One of my favorite songs as well. At first I thought this song was about acceptance or giving up. Then I realized that acceptance has nothing to do with giving up!

    • Oh, how true and how wise! Acceptance, in fact, can keep us from giving up. I’ll keep that in mind right now; it’s a perfect time to hold that thought. Thank you!

  5. raynard

    Julia, ( I think there is a Carole King song or 2 on my ipod.( Unlike this generation I still remember growing up on Casey Caseem “s top 40 and the oldies stationback home in NYC when they played 50’s 60’s and it was during the 70’s..( now I have that song from Jesus Christ Superstar in my head” Day by Day followed by” Maureen Mcgovern ” The Morning After ( didnt know it was in that movie 1973 Poseidon Adventure) lol be blessed

    • Raynard, I never saw The Poseidon Adventure but I do like that song. I still listen to Carole King a lot. A few years back Jeff gave me her collected CDs which came out in a commemorative set. When I first moved to Virginia I sang her song “Back to California” a lot. 😀 “Sweet Seasons” is probably my favorite of hers, but there are so many I like that it’s hard to name them all.

  6. Julia, good morning. I enjoy the early morning times with my hot coffee and my books. I enjoy the birds singing and calling out to each other. I learned to appreciate the early time when my children was small…:)

    Praying with you for Cherie and her husband. Prays and hugs…

    • Merry, thanks so much for joining us in praying for Cherie and her hubby. I too love the sound of birds in the morning. Those songbirds might make me a morning person yet. Plus they are so cute in the early morning, they are pedestrians as I am — though in their case they are out looking for worms for their little ones, I’m sure! This morning one hopped along in front of me on the sidewalk for several yards and I got a big kick out of it! 😀

  7. Carlyle

    Beautiful song! I was not familiar with it. Thanks.

    • Thanks Daddy. You know his song “Leader of the Band” has always reminded my siblings and I of you!

      “I thank you for the music
      And your stories of the road.
      I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go.
      I thank you for your kindness, and the times when you got tough.
      And Papa, I don’t think I said ‘I love you’ near enough.” (Dan Fogelberg)

  8. Thanks Julia, very meaningful.

    For now, morning will come. And with it hope-for peace and joy; or strength and patience.

    I will keep Cherie and her husband in my prayers.


    • Alan, I will keep those two possibilities in mind — peace and joy, or strength and patience. Maybe in time, I will master the art of enjoying all four at once! Thanks so much for your prayers for Cherie. I got an email from her earlier saying how much it meant to her to have blog readers here praying for her.

  9. Rene

    Cherie will be my “C.” Such a shame that hospitalization sometimes brings its own dangers.

    • Thank you Rene. I seem to hear these scary hospital stories more and more. I know Cherie will be grateful for your prayers!

  10. Praying for you and Cherie.
    Your note to your dad was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes.

    • Thank you Susan! I appreciate your prayers for Cherie, and your kind words about my comment to Daddy. “Leader of the Band” is a beautiful song that Fogelberg wrote for his own father.

  11. singleseatfighterpilot

    I am almost certain H.H. Richardson had never heard Dan Fogelberg’s song. And I probably woke up in the same house with him many more mornings than you did. He would stretch and call out to whoever was still slumbering as the sun came up: “I believe it’s gonna be another day!” Fond memories.

    • Jeff and I have laughed many times about hearing PaPa say that in the morning. I also have fond memories of him singing gospel songs while shaving, which he would do while we were still in bed. I agree with you that he never heard that song, but it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Dan Fogelberg having a grandparent who said something like that each day. To me, that was always PaPa’s gentle and friendly way of saying “Are you SERIOUSLY not planning to get up at all? It’s been daylight for quite a while now!!!” 😀

      • singleseatfighterpilot

        You are right on – on all counts!

  12. I don’t think I’d ever heard that song before, very pretty and poignant. You must have been a very deep thinker even then Julia.
    I’m most definitely a morning person. I’ve been know to garden in my nightgown till noon. What starts out as taking out the trash then watering a plant or two, turns into a weed picking, plant pruning palooza, LOL. Even when I stay up late and sleep late (maybe 9am), I always look forward to the routine. Coffee, toast, news, kitty love, make bed, read FB or email (sometimes for way too long), and then on with the day. I love doing chores when the house is still cool and the morning birds are singing along. This morning there was an entire flock out there chirping so loud you just had to get up 😀 I love hearing them, putting on my slippers and peeking out onto my new neighbourhood while it’s still quiet and no one is awake yet. It’s just me and the morning and my little feathery backup singers. 😀 Awesome.

    • K, I may yet become a morning person. Every day for the past week I’ve been getting up with Jeff and going out to walk before 6:00 a.m. I try to be back by then so I can kiss him goodbye before he leaves. (That new fitbit has me doing both morning and evening walks now – wonder how long that will last, hee-hee.) As much as I love the evening walks, the morning is even better and it’s because of the birds and the even cooler dawn temperatures. Those birds are so wonderful that I don’t even turn on my MP3 player most mornings. The other thing I’m loving about getting up early is that the day feels so much longer. I’ll be thinking it must be about noon and I’ll look at the clock and it’s only ten. I’m not getting quite as much sleep but so far the trade off has been worth it. I do so love to sleep late, though. I wish I could somehow go to bed early enough to wake at five feeling as if I’d slept a LONG time!

  13. There is value to a person getting the amount of sleep their body wants and not everyone is the same. I’m well rested with 5 hours of sleep, while others need 8 or more. One night not too long ago, I started scrapbooking after dinner and was still doing it when Mr B got up for work at 5am the next morning, LOL I was on a deadline. Surprising, I felt ok until early that evening when I crashed and burned on the sofa. It does fill good to get chores done early and have the whole day to goof off…..speaking for myself anyways. Hope Matt and Jeff are enjoying good health with all your tender loving care xoK

    • It’s more like Matt and I are enjoying good health with Jeff’s TLC, he is still such a hardwired caretaker of everything from the yard to the car to the family. He adamantly refuses to let me take over his chores although I don’t give him much of an argument 😀 but seriously we would be lost without him. In college when I pull an all-nighter such as the one you describe, I would do the same thing, I would be fine for several hours and then crash. An attorney in Berkeley I was working with on a due process case back in 2004 told me that a person is legally drunk after a certain number of hours without sleep (this advice after I had Drew drive me to her office because I had pulled a rare all-nighter, preparing an evidence binder due to be filed the next day). I have never forgotten that caveat, thus I try to stay off the road if I haven’t slept well, or at least load up on caffeine if I can’t avoid driving. That’s how I began drinking coffee occasionally. I must admit that the advantages of rising early seem to outweigh the disadvantages, even for a confirmed night owl/late morning lounger such as me. I’ve been making a great effort to get to bed by 11 or 12 so that I can endure getting up by 5:30. Those singing birds at dawn are the tipping point that pushes it into the “definitely worth it” column for me! That plus walking in the cool temperatures.

  14. I can totally understand Jeff’s desire to maintain the status quo and keep up with all the ways he shows his love and care for his family everyday. These daily little things give purpose to our lives.

    Gee, I hadn’t heard that you worked in a law office while out in California. You’ve had some interesting jobs. We used to drive highway most of the way into work when we lived at the lake. We’ve seen cars slowly drift into an on-coming lane a number of times, luckily correcting before anything fatal. It always freaked me out because we could have been a few seconds ahead and bammo. I’m not surprised that driving with an extreme lack of sleep equates to being intoxicated.

    After two rainy days, the sun is shining. Everything is refreshed and clean. It’s going to be a beautiful day. I hope yours is too. xoK

    • Oops, sorry I wasn’t more clear. I didn’t work for the attorney; I hired her to help us with the due process, but told her I needed to save money wherever I could and she was great fun to work with anyway, so she let me do a lot of the prep work that she would normally bill out. I HATE getting litigious, especially with a school system that theoretically is a friend to students, but in Matt’s case I felt I had no other alternative and fortunately I had a friend who may as well have been an attorney herself, who also helped me with the long, hateful and extremely distasteful steps involved in trying to get the school district to stop breaking the law regarding special education. Because they know few parents can afford to go against their lawyers, the less ethical among them will more or less ignore the IEP laws since they get away with it most of the time.

      That’s not to say there are not a lot of good, honest and wonderful special ed teachers out there too (in fact I just posted about one recently) but it’s extremely troubling how quickly things change when one finally decides to bite the bullet and hire an attorney. I can’t imagine what it is like for people who do not have that option as a last resort. I am so, so thankful Matt’s school years are behind us because they were beyond depressing in most ways. Being the Mom of Drew and Matt both, so close to the same age, showed me what life is like on opposite ends of the academic spectrum (one National Merit Scholar/Valedictorian/athlete and one wonderfully unique kid with an educational profile that did not fit neatly into any prepackaged program) and the difference between the two experiences was far more vast than it should have been. WOW, Raynard, did I ever digress here…on to happier things…glad the sun is shining for you with all the plants well watered as a bonus!

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