I love music. I love the lyrics of some songs. I love to garden. I know I love much more than those, but anyhow ...

One of my favorite songs all my life is by a rather unknown (at least to me) lyricist.

C. Austin Miles was born in 1868 in Lakehurst, N.J. He attended Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Pennsylvania University. In 1892, he wrote his first gospel song and left his pharmacist career to continue writing gospel music he considered to be his calling. Later, he was the editor and manager of the Hall-Mack Publishing company. Many gospel lyrics are attributed to Miles, whose pen name was A.A. Payn. He died in 1946 and is buried in New Jersey. The movie "Places of the Heart" with Sally Field received several movie awards. The film included his "In the Garden" song. I have not seen this film, but after reading about it, I intend to watch it. Basically it is about how we can make our lives worthwhile by helping each other.

Here are the lyrics:

I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known

I'd stay in the garden with Him

'Tho the night around me be falling

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling

And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known.

When I make the rounds of our yard, I think of those lyrics and life in today's world. We are more than blessed when God is in our lives and our blessings abound with the gifts He has given us of each other.

I have become even more aware of how true this is the past week when we flew to California for the memorial service of my brother's wife. My brother said how important family is, and this is true. It becomes increasingly so when sorrow enters our lives.

And who is family? Yes, it is those in the family we have been born into, but also those who have become so important in our lives. That includes that person in the grocery store who smiles at us, who chats with us, who helps us to reach that elusive product on the top shelf. I guess it is all those we meet along the way. It is also that pet who sits by our side and seems to know our feelings without our using any words.

So many people reach out to us, and so many others bear their own hidden sorrows that we do not even know about. A kind word or smile can warm a troubled heart. Just the words, "I will keep you in my heart and prayers," could give courage and peace to a troubled life. I asked a friend to pray for my brother who has metastatic melanoma. She said she would and added, "I will pray for you, too." That warmed my heart. We never know who is in need because troubles can be hidden behind eyes that do not tell what sorrow they might be experiencing. Yes, no one walks alone.

Guess it is really about life. What really counts is not what we have amassed in material goods, but who we have helped along the way, who has helped us, and how we can really make our world a better place. We need each other and not only that, each other needs us.

In reality it is the golden rule, and we have wonderful examples who show us what it means as we seek our way in this world. I thank the good Lord for all these "others."

Thank God we live in America. And may America continue to be what it is meant to be.

Ruth Moriarity is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.