The Rainbow Connection- The Lovers, The Dreamers, Kermit and Me

Writers: Paul Williams, Kenny Ascher
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Walt Disney Music Company, Universal Music Publishing Group

Yesterday, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see a special theatrical screening of The Muppet Movie in honor or its 40th anniversary. How fun to visit with my lovable friends on the big screen and remember the fun of that film! Watching the film felt like traveling back to a whole different era- a more innocent time. What seems technically so simplistic compared to some of the CGI effects we see today, for me tells a strong story that truly invokes our imaginations. Disney has retained this in much of its animation, and it’s precisely this whimsy that allows me to get lost in reflection, fantasy and dreaming.

There are so many silly and funny parts of The Muppet Movie, but the part that has touched my heart for all these years is Kermit strumming his banjo and singing The Rainbow Connection. I love the song, and frequently listen to Kenny Loggins’ version. For me, it’s a song of hope that allowed me to see past the bad times and encouraged me to stay a dreamer and keep wishing on stars. It’s the song that validates my firm belief in Disney magic and pixie dust.

I guess that I relate a lot to Kermit in his innocence. I think back to my difficult times, particularly during caregiving and grief, when I felt so vulnerable, and struggled with sadness and anger, but, like my mom, I could at least get lost in child-like delights like a Disney film. I unabashedly admit that I like the idea of fairies and a Fairy Godmother and wishing on stars and rainbows, regardless of whether or not they are tangibly realistic. As the song says, we never know if our wishes will be heard or answered, but it’s a comfort and joy to me to believe and to have that faith. It’s the reason that Ben and I tossed coins into the Wishing Well at Cinderella’s Castle each time we visited Walt Disney World after his ALS diagnosis.

Some people have told me that I am silly in my whimsy and talk of Disney, and they feel compelled to give me what they would deem reality checks, but to talk of rainbow connections and dreams come true is not a matter of being somehow ungrounded. I’ve dealt with the harshness of real life. I still relive some of those experiences and I know that they have changed me. However, they never made me bitter or led me to lose my sense of wonder and ability to smile at rainbows and the dreams that they hold and may fulfill. For me, finding the rainbow connection is like listening to Peter Pan and knowing that “faith, trust and pixie dust” will make things okay. It is the ability to tap my inner child and put the bad things in perspective, balanced with the possibility of dreams come true. It lets me enjoy my memories and wish for more. It lets me know beyond a doubt that Ben is free from the constraints of ALS, eating, walking and playing musical instruments. It allows me to see the messages that I believe are sent by Ben, my parents and my grandma. I may always cry easily and have setbacks of sadness, and I know that all of my days will not be sunny, but you can’t get a rainbow without the rain, and I have made the choice that I always want to be on team Kermit with the lovers and dreamers.

The Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told
And some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
And look what it’s done so far

What’s so amazing
That keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see
Someday we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic

Have you been half asleep?
And have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That called the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I’m supposed to be
Someday we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

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