So on March 19, when I wrote about running away to join the circus, maybe I was only half-kidding. Sometimes, when you’re wrestling the alligators, and it looks a lot like the alligators might be winning, then sometimes, and I caution you to use this option carefully, sometimes sounding the retreat actually IS in your best interest.

Circumstances ganged up on me last week, and I ran away to Lincoln City, Oregon for a few days. Lincoln City is just far enough, and just different enough, that I feel like I’m on another planet as soon as I arrive. It’s like entering the land of Oz; I feel safe there.

On this particular “run away,” I popped the soundtrack from West Side Story into my CD player and sang along with gusto as I drove. Yes, yes, I know how the movie turns out, but along the way the various songs gave full range to my emotions, letting me experience the anticipation, the hope, and the excitement of possibilities before dashing them to smithereens against the pavement in the playground, so to speak.

It’s no secret that music affects our entire outlook, moment to moment, in ways that are totally unexplainable. Some songs make us happy and optimistic, and some allow us to fully experience our grief and cry our eyes out. (I have a customized CD I had made to play when I’m needing an extra boost to my attitude, and I listen to “Somewhere in Time” when I want to empty my tear ducts.)

So here’s an uplifting example from the movie West Side Story. If you don’t know the tune already, I encourage you to listen to it on YouTube. It’s only 2 1/2 minutes long, but it never fails to preset my mood for a time of unlimited abundance and joy. (And if this doesn’t do it for you, try tuning in to the Pointer Sisters singing “I’m so Excited.”)

Something’s Coming

Could be!
Who knows?
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
Open the latch!
Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It’ll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .