From feeling the sunshine to one love

Art by: Jesse Joshua Watson

Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet
…here I am

Influenced by a Mighty Mystic hangover from last week, my music so far this week has been a sea of Bob Marley. Yesterday, in honor of THE legend’s birthday I tweeted “Bob Marley is perfect morning music.” Afterwards, I kept thinking about those six words. Why is the morning atmosphere the first thing that came to mind? Why did I subconsciously write that? What did I mean?

The truth is, I wasn’t sure of the answer. I did know it came from a genuine place and is something I certainly subscribe to. When I started to think about it, I realized, more times than not the first thing I do in my kitchen each morning (after hitting start on the coffee pot, of course) is turn on Bob Marley and have it lightly permeate the room through my Sonos. Especially on the weekends. It’s one artist I often explain to my kids as opposed to letting them simply hear and judge for themselves. I think back to one of my favorite artist conversations I’ve ever had — with Citizen Cope on how we both feel Bob Marley and The Beatles (mostly John Lennon) should be a mandatory subject in elementary school.

But again, why? And why do I steer towards Marley always in the AM? I hardly ever hit play on the Legend record during a late night drive. Or at the gym. Or at the height of frustrating moment. It’s always paired with the break of day.

So, this morning starting at dawn, I decided to test it out. What I’ve come up with here are five of my immediate (non-premediated) captured emotions.

Smiled with Rising Sun:

As someone who has turned into a complete morning person, watching the sunrise each day is a spiritual experience — from any perspective, on your front porch, out your window, with feet in the sand, or sitting in your kitchen. When you have that moment to yourself (but best with coffee) it’s amazing how this movement of your world starting to shine evokes an overflow of gratitude in such a short period of time. There’s just a lot to be thankful for. It’s as simple as that.

I noticed when I went to “Marley” in my artists list, I made an effort to play “Three Little Birds” first. “Three little birds pitch by my doorstep, singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true,” — a beautiful mirage to greet another day on earth. Even if it’s dark, gloomy and torrential outside, you immediately envision what “Three Little Birds” describes. It then doesn’t matter what the weather is because it’s become the picture Marley painted. The song starts with “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright”. Perhaps the best opening line of any song. And Marley has made you a believer. What a great state of mind to start your day.

Art by: Jesse Joshua Watson

Buffalo Soldier:

This is the effect of the “Three Little Birds” cause. It’s confidence. Your fueld, had your smiling deep breaths, and now you feel like you can take on the world. It’s not so much a feeling of “I’m the best, get out of my way.” It’s more of a “I can do this. I’m going to get better today and more so, I am going to do my part to make the world a better place.” Regardless of the literal meaning, think about the symmetry — upon completing a cleanse you are refreshed. You are in your purest of forms. “If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from.” It’s like the sunrise carved a path right into the open fields.

Come to Jamaica and Feel Alright:

Not the actual song lyrics, but adapted for modern commercials to attract Jamaican tourism. It’s 100% accurate. My parents are in Jamaica as I write this. They go every year to visit family. I have been numerous times myself and it’s my favorite place in existence. Aside from all of its natural elements, it contains and provokes a positive attitude. Life in its most undemanding form. I once watched a documentary on Jamaican culture where one native said, “We have no problems even though we have so many problems.” I took that as an attitude reverting back to “every little thing is gonna be alright.” Jamaica represents such a happy outlook on life. To me, it brings me to a place of treasured memories. My wife and I got engaged in Ocho Rios, danced to “Could You Be Loved” at our wedding, my cousin got married in Negril, we’ve had anniversary trips, family vacations, red stripe,.. the list goes on and on. This Caribbean island is 4,000+ square miles of smiles. And Bob Marley is Jamaica.

Get Up, Stand Up:

Bob Marley was a pioneer. He was a calm, one-man revolution. He was the change he wanted to see. Both ahead of his time, and student of the past. He believed in the power of people, but more than anything, the power of music. “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” “None but ourselves can free our minds.” He was wealth of knowledge and when it came to perspective he led by example. Wisdom is better than silver and gold. Speak your mind, then free your mind. Fight for what’s right, but love along the way. This forth point could be filled with just potent Marley quotes. To segue… “The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity, and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

So, as you approach your open field of the day, feeling cleansed and surfaced with all of your being enlightened, the next thing to do is to get out there and go get it. “Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”

One Love:

Isn’t that what its all about? Aren’t those two words in tandem Marley’s entire message and undeniable legacy all wrapped into one? One love in equality, one love over hate, one love of dreams, one love of music, one love of expression, one love of life.

Did you know Marley’s other passion (arguably his main passion) was soccer/football? OK, so maybe two loves, but the point is surrounding yourself with your passions. This last emotion bottled up is the reason why. It’s the if not now, when?

Art by: Jesse Joshua Watson

The answer to my initial question here is not a complicated one. It’s that Marley sets you on a full circle journey. His music just makes you feel good. It calibrates your outlook to a — the more you give the more you get / what’s important mindset where you value any climb, and feel you have the fortitude to take it on. All the while, he smiles with you at the exhale of appreciation.

Try it sometime. Invite Bob Marley to the table of your next sunrise morning and love the life you live, live the life you love.

Art by: Jesse Joshua Watson

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