25% off lightweight hoodies? Heavy. Use HOODSRGOOD.

Kumbaya

Life in the fast lane is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be. This is especially true when you’re driving in the fast lane during morning rush hour on downtown Los Angeles freeway.

Without an ounce of sleep for twenty-six hours, mega doses of both coffee and diet coke become a sure recipe for frequent bathroom breaks. I had been driving alone on the road since 12am and it was now 8am. My so-called fast lane, the fourth lane over to the left, was gradually crawling at a rate of two miles every twenty minutes. Bumper to bumper traffic there was no way I could seem to get over the three lanes needed to make it to an exit. Again and again I desperately used hand signals, while trying with no luck, to get over even a single lane. Everyone seemed to have their early morning, coffee deprived, bored and dull-faced commute blinders on.

Life in the fast lane was actually the very inviting and swift moving carpool lane to the left of me. I kept on eyeing it, wishing I wasn’t alone, while counting the number of people in every car, which passed by me, at least doing forty miles per hour. Curious, I watched to see if anyone was cheating! Wincing and clutching the steering wheel, I carefully observed for some time. My conclusion: there were always two or more people in each and EVERY car. $271 fine signs were posted everywhere for driving it illegally.

My bladder felt like Old Faithful turned upside down ready to burst in my dreadfully bloated belly. Sleep deprivation and being revved up with caffeine does weird things to distort one’s mind. I started thinking of an old song, “Paper Doll.” The lyrics “I’m gonna buy a Paper Doll that I can call my own,” made me start some creative yet irrational thinking. All kinds of various “things” were piled in my front seat along with my hooded jacket. Surely I could make a dummy and pull right into the continuously moving carpool lane. Laughing to myself at how ridiculous my idea was, I seriously considered my foolishness anyway. Desperate people do desperate things. Somehow the paper towel “head”, underneath my hooded jacket, kept falling to the floor off of its ice cooler shoulders. Heck, I was too chicken to do it anyway. Scrap that idea…

To help in calming myself down, I started to quietly sing the old camp song, Kumbaya. Continuing to wave, now frantically, at the cars piled up beside me, while pointing and making BIG hand gestures, I felt like a crazed woman with a rather scary and huge ear to ear, “HELP ME PLEASE” grimace. I’m sure I wasn’t much of a pretty sight! However, strangely this time I managed to make it over to all three lanes, much to my surprise, in record time. The people in the cars next to me probably thought I was deaf; well, so long as they didn’t understand sign language. Further relieved I found an immediate exit right away. Hallelujah, Amen and Kumbaya! Bring on a restroom, pretty please!

Without a single clue of where I was, my rapid exit offered not a single store or gas station in sight. I made my first right at a light and ended up in an extremely ritzy neighborhood. I was still singing Kumbaya. Kumbaya soon became horribly high-pitched and desperate sounding. The road I had turned on seemed to have speed bumps everywhere as I hurdled quite uncomfortably over them. The lyrics to Kumbaya changed as well; “Kumbaya my Lord, please look after me. Kumbaya my Lord I have to pee. Kumbaya my Lord a gas station is all I need. Oh Loooooooord Kumbaya.”

After what seemed to be an eternity of time slowly ticking away, I found a woman walking her dogs. Always puzzled I was, at how auctioneers could talk so fast, but suddenly I felt like one. Miraculously, I could suddenly spew out words just like them!

“Excusemema’mIhavetogotothebathroomverybadlyisthereagasstationcloseby?” I said rather frantically in a shrill, urgent voice. She quickly gave me directions, obviously sensing my urgent and immediate distress. By this time, my version of Kumbaya was becoming obnoxiously loud and increasingly desperate. No, I didn’t sing to her, in case you are wondering! Growing more painful by the minute my belly continued to bloat even more. I felt like a full-blown helium balloon that could have been popped and rapidly detonated with a single pin. Yet, all the while I laughed at myself and just how ludicrous this situation had become. I was now totally at this woman’s mercy and directions. I had not been in L.A. for thirty years. Now I would really be really lost or so I thought. The only map I had was for the entire state of California. It’s possible that the map could have helped, but at this point I had not a single second to spare. My belly’s misery had become increasingly severe.

Finally, I found “THE” gas station, which my “angelic guide” had correctly directed me to. Almost as if magic, the attendant was standing right where I had pulled up to. He led me to the bathroom immediately. It was only steps away. I’m not so sure I could have taken a single step further. It was almost as if the attendant had mysteriously awaited me expecting my arrival. By this time Old Faithful had become more like a newly erupted volcano wrong side up as I sat down on the pot and graciously thanked God! Whew…I had made it!

Had I not have sung Kumbaya I would have never made it to that gas station without a major and catastrophic explosion! Kumbaya gave me the strength and faith I so desperately needed. I’ve heard it said that singing a song of worship is another form of prayer. It was only when I started singing Kumbaya that I was able to quickly enter three right lanes and exit the freeway.

Never knowing the meaning of Kumbaya, I happened to look it up on the Internet prior to writing this. Ironically Kumbaya means “Come by here.” After releasing my bulbously bloated stomach, I truly believed that God had plotted a course for me the entire way. I’ve also been told that God has a great sense of humor! There is nothing more special than the inner feeling of laughing with a divine entity! You don’t always get what you need when you want it, however I do believe that you get what you need when you truly need it. To me it’s all a matter of faith and trust.

How could I or will I ever forget the magic of singing Kumbaya? NEVER in this woman’s lifetime! I suppose I’ll be singing it until my death occurs. We often pray in times of great need for ourselves, our loved ones and those who are sick and suffering. Yet, it’s equally important to pray and give thanks on a daily basis for the blessings we have in our lives. Those blessings may not always be apparent to all, but I truly believe that they are there. I truly believe in miracles! One of my own quotes is, “See to believe and you will learn to believe to see.” The moral of this story is: “Don’t drink anything and drive!” One more note; don’t drive when you are fatigued – perhaps that was one my many learning lessons!

Finally, I thought it would be appropriate to write down the “real words” of Kumbaya plus the history of this 19th century folk song. Kumbaya originates from worshippers of African American descent. It was sung among the Gullah, a group descended from enslaved Africans living on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Originally a spiritual song, the song enjoyed newfound popularity during the folk revival of the 1960’s, largely due to Joan Baez’ 1962 recording of the song, and became associated with the civil rights struggles of that decade.

Kumbaya has become my special devotional prayer for world peace. Most every morning I lay in my hot tub and sing Kumbaya deeply from my heart and gut. As I sing, I pray for peace, for innocent victims of war (soldiers and civilians), third-world disease ridden and starving countries, victims of natural disasters, for those who hate and disregard love and finally for all those in the world who are sick and suffering.

Below each verse, you will see my interpretation of Kumbaya in italics. Simple as this song may seem, it is very deep, well thought out and a powerful song to pray with! I feel great gratitude every time I sing this song, while sending my thoughts for those in great need of light!

Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Come by here Lord – we need your strength.

Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Thank you for your presence, I am laughing in your light!

Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Please help this world full of need and despair.

Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Sincerely, I pray with all my heart.

Someone’s singing, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s singing, Lord, kumbaya!
Someone’s singing, Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Lord, I sing to you from the very depths of my soul.

Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya!
O Lord, kumbaya!

Thank you Lord for coming by here. You have filled me with deep gratitude!

Kumbaya

Polly Peacock

Downingtown, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 18

Artwork Comments

  • Gramia97
  • Gramia97
  • Polly Peacock
  • Polly Peacock
  • Rosemaree
  • Polly Peacock
  • adgray
  • Polly Peacock
  • adgray
  • ShadowDancer
  • Polly Peacock
  • kukawa
  • Polly Peacock
  • Chookas
  • Polly Peacock
  • Isa Rodriguez
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.