Thursday night I was surfing channels to no avail. I had about given up hope of finding anything worth watching…when I flipped on PBS and the English version of the movie Pollyanna was just about to start on Masterpiece Theatre.
I have always loved the Disney version of Pollyanna with Hailey Mills but I must confess the British knocked the socks off all other prior productions. It was mesmerizing with absolutely no commercials from beginning to end.
Instead of being set in Vermont… as the book originally was written…the setting for this Pollyanna was in the English countryside in a small town called Beldingsville.
What was so outstanding about this performance was that it centered on the evolving relationship between Pollyanna and Aunt Polly. (Letting the relationship slowly develop took center stage.) It made all the difference in the world.
Every character in the town, influenced by Pollyanna’s “Glad Game,” had important acting roles too…instead of just Pollyanna.
It is in one of the first scenes of the movie when Aunt Polly is dictating the stern, rigid daily schedule she has planned for her niece that poor Pollyanna gasps for air and says dramatically “Oh, but Aunt Polly, you haven’t left me any time at all just to live… Just breathing isn’t living!”
I quickly grabbed my pen and notebook and wrote the quote down. How appropriate it is for life and how many times have we gotten ourselves in a rut where we are doing just that…going through the motions of breathing without living a life of joy and happiness?
“Discover the stars, the twinkle, the sunbeams of your infinitely precious soul.”
(On one halo triangle..is the word journey.)
I realized that Kelly Rae Robers, through her art, was telling the same story as Pollyanna with her “Glad Game.”
In the book/movie several townspeople of Beldingsville have lost hope that life is anything more than waking up and trying to get through another day. They are just “breathing” but certainly not “living.” Somewhere in their past they have felt betrayed by human love, or given in to a medical obstacle… using self-pity as an excuse to remain in bed, or let a moment of anger ruin an important chance at a lasting relationship. Worse of all pride restrains the characters from trying to find happiness and joy again.
Don’t we see these ghosts of the past walking by us daily… physically alive but emotionally and spiritually deceased? It is easy to spot them by their countenance, demeanor, and speech…or lack of.
One part of the movie I had forgotten about struck a chord with me. When I was thinking one day, a few years back after a health setback following another surgery, what scripture I would like read at my own funeral I knew it had to be lines talking about joy and rejoicing. What a wonderful, joyful life I have experienced and that is how I would like to be remembered …a joyful person…who loved playing “The Glad Game.”
*Pollyanna tells her Aunt Polly about a discovery her father, a pastor, made one day when he was feeling sad over her mother’s death…about the discovery of the number of scriptural lines in the Bible that talk about joy and rejoicing.
“Oh, yes,” nodded Pollyanna, emphatically. He [her father] said he felt better right away, that first day he thought to count ’em. He said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times [in the Bible] to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it – SOME.”
So until tomorrow…By simply smiling at people whose hope has diminished as evidenced by the loss of light in their eyes…sometimes our light can help re-light the eyes of another.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
So many of you yesterday chimed in on the fun with the word “very’ while making Facebook and WordPress comments… a hoot to read.
*If any of you didn’t see this comment by Mary Fennemore, co-owner of Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, Delaware, concerning the word “very” read it now…Mary found another good line of scripture.
Hey Becky – I’m with you on VERY!! I even use Very, Very….!!! And if anyone needs further justification for using very, here’s another Scripture….Psalm 46:1 -God is our Refuge and Strength, a VERY present and well-proved help in trouble. AMEN.
PS ~ Thanks again for your wonderful writings! I enjoy them very, very much every morning!
With my love and prayers, Mary