β€œI’m tired and so weary.” 

There are times heaviness carries one physically, spiritually, and emotionally from an open arena of joyous contentment to an empty corner of dark solitude. No matter how many others might be around, loneliness blankets the scene. 

Sometimes the shadowy period is a short stay, other times the burden seems to weigh one down forever. The point being there is a time of exit when clarity finally eases out the confusion. The light eventually will overtake the dark. 

Is it just the natural ebb and flow of life or something more? These days, the β€œsomething more” is on the mind of the world, weighing her down.

β€œWell, the morning’s so bright and the lamb is the light.”

Peace in the Valley speaks of a gospel promise of a new day ahead. For many, Elvis included, these good news songs provide a distinct comfort during the black night. Whether it is the actual lyrics or the memories and feelings they invoke depends on the individual. Having read about Elvis’ formative years, I suspect it was a combination of the two.

Weariness is the word that comes to mind for the unprecedented challenging days we’re facing. People are weary. Families are weary. Workers are weary. The entire world is weary. Worry abounds and rightly so.

Why do you think Elvis always returned to gospel music? He was able to emotionally rejoice, returning to the source of his joy. It didn’t erase the circumstances but supplied a new perspective. Simply put, it recharged his batteries.

I see current photos of the house on the hill. There are no tourists milling about, no tour buses pulling in and out of the gate like clockwork, no throngs of people pen in hand writing on the Alabama fieldstone wall, no selfies and group shots on the front stoop. It’s quiet – and peaceful and surprisingly comforting. I see the mansion at rest, recharging, regrouping from the weariness. 

Despite the hardship and the expected concern, the purposeful and necessary slowdown of life eases a weary land. Staying home imposes a new norm. Togetherness six feet apart is the order of the day. Less traffic, less spending, less outings and more forced down time will have benefits.

β€œAnd I’ll be changed from this creature that I am, oh yes.”

This experience will change us all. Life may never be as it was, at times spinning out of our control. The weariness is heavy but the eventual peace is lightweight. 

Elvis knew he needed to trade his weariness for peace and gospel music was the best way he knew to do so. Whatever helps you during these tough days that can ease your burden should be pursued. 

Speaking for myself, the voice that has sustained me for years continues to ease my own weariness these days. There is something within the intonation and deliberate pronunciation of certain words and terms and notes that settles my heart and mind. The voice is a welcomed familiarity present in the midst of unfamiliar terrain. 

Presley provides a peace in this valley of trials for those that understand the connection. The circumstances aren’t changed but the perspective is. And that can make all the difference.

Stay safe.

β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”

PEACE IN THE VALLEY

(Words & music by Thomas A. Dorsey)

Oh well, I’m tired and so weary

But I must go alone

Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes

Well the morning’s so bright

And the lamb is the light

And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day

There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray

There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow

No trouble, trouble I see

There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Well the bear will be gentle

And the wolves will be tame

And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes

And the beasts from the wild

Shall be led by a child

And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

There will be peace in the valley for me, some day

There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray

There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow

No trouble, trouble I see

There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

Recorded 01/13/1957