Niagara Gazette

June 9, 2013

JACKIE DAVIS: The uplifting joy of unexpected blessings

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Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette —  “Everybody needs a smile to make the road ahead more fun

Someone to say ‘have a nice day,’ everybody needs a walk in the sun;

Everybody needs a little song, just a simple tune to hum

A little song as we travel along, everybody needs a walk in the sun;

Everybody needs a home when the working day is done

A place to go when it’s getting cold, everybody needs a walk in the sun;”

— Composer Unknown

  

Believe it or not, those are the words to an advertising jingle that played on the radio every morning, at our home in Pittsburgh, as I was getting ready for school. I have no idea what product they were selling. I never knew the singers or the composer, but I would often find myself singing this little tune as I walked up the hill to my school with my face bathed in the glorious rays of the rising sun.

All these years later, in my heart of hearts, I can still ascribe to the feeling that “everybody needs a walk in the sun.” In other words, everybody needs a moment of joy. Joy can be described as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, synonymous with delight, gladness, or mirth.” Who doesn’t need that every now and then?

In the 24-hour news cycle of our world, we are constantly bombarded with the knowledge of bad news all around us. Massive tornadoes, collapsing buildings, terrorist attacks, murder trials, tragic car accidents, suicide attempts, government scandals, celebrities behaving badly — you get the picture. Just this morning, I heard news of all of the above before my morning cup of coffee! This constant swirl of negative energy makes the need that metaphoric “walk in the sun” that much more essential.

Good news and good moments can warm our hearts and bring joy to our souls when they are unexpected or unforeseen. A blessing can be defined as “God’s favor and protection” or “a thing conducive to happiness, welfare, approval and encouragement.” I received an outpouring of unexpected blessings these past few weeks, and found and myself experiencing an amazing joy as a result.

I found out that our entire cast for the American Repretory Theater musical “First Lady Suite” (directed by Matt LaChiusa) was nominated for an Artie Award (Buffalo’s equivalent of a Tony Award for local theater). 

While I had been tremendously blessed to share the stage with these amazing singers and actresses, I was shocked to learn that I had also been nominated for an Artie for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. I was thrilled to see that Renee Landrigan, a graduate from our own Lockport High School had also been nominated for her role in “Next to Normal.”

The awards show was held this past Monday night at the Town Ballroom and it was exhilarating, complete with fashion, music, comedy, and fun! All donations for attendance went to support a wonderful, compassionate organization called Benedict House that provides non-discriminatory support services for those living with AIDS.

While I still had the challenges of ordinary daily life, the unexpected blessing of a double Artie Award nomination brought me and my family a lot of joy. We had a wonderful time at the Artie Award show. I hope you will find a moment to enjoy the unexpected blessings that come your way.

Jackie Davis is an Inspirational vocalist, musician and speaker with more than 20 years of television broadcast experience. You can contact her at jjd.22344@yahoo.com.