You’ve Gotta Be Here

by Judy on October 15, 2013

The blizzard stopped me from traveling

The blizzard stopped me from traveling

If it hadn’t been for a major snowstorm, my song, “You’ve Gotta Be Here” may not have been written. Yes, life does unfold in perfect synchronicity if you allow it! Giving up control can be frightening. However our point of power and freedom lies in the present moment when we let go and receive its gifts.

Before I relate the story of how this song was born, I would like you to hear it first.

Listen to the song clip from You’ve Gotta Be Here

It was late March and my new CD project, Time To Shine, was nearing completion. My music arranger, Miles Jackson, has a recording studio at Ma-me-o Beach, Alberta, just 4 hours drive from our home town.

Miles at his recording studio at Ma-me-o Beach

Miles is a brilliant pianist and music arranger

I would stay over for a few nights in the cabin and work every day with Miles in the studio. Then Miles’ and Jocelyne’s dog, Hogan, and I would have an evening stroll along the beach. What a perfect setting to be able to combine music with life at the lake. I have so many happy childhood and waterskiing memories of times spent there with my family. I vividly recall one of my teenage adventures when I had my first encounter with a skunk. I remember going to the outdoor privy when a skunk crossed my path. Instead of quietly backing up, I said, “Shoo Shoo!” – had to bury my clothes …

Here's Hogan doing one of his favorite things. Oh how I miss him.

Here’s Hogan doing one of his favorite things.
Oh how I miss him.

A CD project would take about 6 months with me making trips back and forth to Ma-me-o. While at home, I would practice all the music over and over, making sure that all the keys and key changes sounded exactly right. My songs for the Time To Shine CD were all written (or so I thought) and I even had the song order planned. I only had about 2 more trips to make before the final mastering and was intending to leave early in the morning. Then I listened to the weather forecast … “100% certainly of snow with sustained high winds, beginning in the morning with an accumulation of at least 2 feet” – in other words, a blizzard! The highway would be impassible.

I found the inspiration for my song in the grocery store

My inspiration

So, on to Plan B (or Plan Be, as I like to call it). I decided to drive to the grocery store before the snow became too deep. Other people had the same idea as it was very crowded. While I was standing in line to pay, the People magazine caught my eye. There on the cover was fellow Canadian, Michael J. Fox, and his wife, Tracy. I picked up the magazine and opened it to the exact page of the article. Michael was talking about his book, “A Lucky Man” where he tells the story of his attempt to hide his Parkinsons from himself, his family and the world. He had been drinking heavily, but finally faced the truth.

After all that I’d been through, after all that I’d learned and all that I’d been given, I was going to do what I had been doing every day for the last few years now: just show up and do the best that I could do with whatever lay in front of me.”

Michael’s words, “just show up” made such an imprint on me that they could have been printed in Bold! Back in the warmth of our kitchen, I listened to the howling wind and watched the swirling snow through the window. I sent a grateful thought out to Michael for teaching me this valuable life lesson. I made a commitment to show up for my life and follow my heart, no matter what. And so, in the midst of a whiteout blizzard, the song wrote itself. And yes, You Gotta Be Here was the missing link for the new CD. I couldn’t have planned it any better!

You gotta Be Here, every little minute
And show up on the stage of your life
Because it’s free here, and when you’re dancin’ in it
Everything will turn out right

To find the key here, keep it simple baby
Don’t go sweatin’ small stuff all the time
You just gotta Be Here, no ifs, or buts, or maybe
‘Cause everything will turn out fine

View from our kitchen window the following morning

The next morning view from our window

Alberta gets its heaviest wet snow in the spring and sometimes these storms will even continue into May. However, the snow also disappears quickly and the spears of green grass poke up through the white. The morning after I wrote the song, the storm had passed. I awakened to blue sky, sunshine and a magical world of beauty. The following week, I traveled north on a clear highway to Ma-me-o Beach. Looking out across the bare fields to the snowcapped Rocky mountains, I offered a silent prayer for the blizzard, the gift of Michael and the One Spirit that gave me the song and Who connects us all.

You gotta Be Here, take each day and face it
Buy a ticket for the ride of your life
Choose to be free here, love it and embrace it
For everything will turn out right


Prairies and mts. half 2

With profound gratitude for our beautiful earth


TIME TO SHINE  Click on COVER to Download the whole CD here.

Click on COVER to Download the whole CD here.

To listen to a clip of “You Gotta Be Here” – Click Here (Song #7)  If you would like to download the whole song for 99 cents – Click Here

P.S. I would love you to visit my brand new From Spirit to Story to Song Website Home for more fun and inspirational stories.

While you are there, download my song and FREE Gift for you, “Give Yourself Love”.


© Judy Armstrong 2013








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