This song lacks the historical and spiritual significance that the first 3 songs have but still had deep meaning in my life at a previous time.
From 1999 to 2001 and I was the proud owner of a struggling small-town grocery store. I usually played the local radio station quietly to help pass the time and make the store feel less dead and dying.
It was sometime in 2000 that the song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Anne Womack became popular. At the time, the radio station was playing this song about….12 times per day, so I had time to analyze the lyrics in detail. Over and over and over.
I remember looking out the window of the store, during a cold winter day, where NOTHING was happening in town and wondering: “Is this it? Is this what life is going to be like for the rest of my life?”
It was an honest question.
I didn’t go away to school like many of my friends and I had no clue what I would do if the store failed, but I figured there had to be more than what I was experiencing in downtown Oil Springs at the time.
It was 3 specific lines that I thought about every time the song played.
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
I can remember one very important conversation with a customer (Ann) who was visiting Oil Springs for a few days. Ann and her husband were from Montreal, but were in town, visiting a family member who lived across the street from the store. She had grown up in the area along with her husband and had moved away to pursue careers in Montreal.
In my mind, they had become “big city people.”
I was just a country bumpkin. Maybe I still am…?
At the time, I had given zero thought to ever moving away. My mind couldn’t comprehend the idea of life outside the small bubble I had grown up in.
The day of the conversation with Ann was the morning of Valentines Day and I had planned to work in the store from 8am until 6pm. Joy and I were dating but she was away at school in London, and since it was a weekday, Valentines Day wasn’t going to be anything special.
Ann asked me if I had plans for Valentines Day and we chatted about Joy for a few minutes, then she nudged me with the idea that there might be more to life than what Oil Springs currently had to offer. And she encouraged me that if I had someone special to spend Valentines Day with, I should do that if it was possible.
I didn’t know what to do with this information as I certainly wasn’t thinking of moving away from Oil Springs, but in the short-term, I didn’t want to spend Valentines Day alone either!
But…I was stuck there in the store, working without someone to take over for me. I couldn’t just close. It was a depressing situation for a brief time.
Within a few hours of the conversation, my sister showed up at the store…and then I saw Joy’s old Volkswagen drive up too. What was she doing there? It was a complete surprise!!!
Joy ended up driving down from London to surprise me and we had lunch together in Petrolia. Joy had even arranged for my sister Carla to look after the store while we went out for lunch together.
That short conversation with Ann seeded the idea in my mind, that there could be life outside Oil Springs. Even if the store didn’t work out (and *spoiler alert* it didn’t work out) there was more, maybe not in that location, but there was more to life.
I’m glad we had that conversation and it fit in well with the theme of this song.
I tend to be a deep thinker – maybe overthinker is a better word, but I guess it’s worked out so far. Here’s the song. Listen to the lyrics and maybe something will jump out at you.
Taking chances, thinking outside the box, getting outside your comfort zone. These thought processes are often what drive people to do great things. I’m still trying to figure out what my great thing is going to be… 🙂