I had that thought the other day while I was cooking. (“One, two, three, crack! New egg.”) . . . and then it reminded me of when my grandmother Mamacella, Mom, and I watched the remake of Sabrina in the theatre. Julia Ormond’s hair is so 90’s! Let’s just say it won’t prove to be as timeless as Audrey Hepburn’s. Though the new version is good, nothing compares to the original of course. Anyway, as we sat in the audience watching 1994 Sabrina make out with her Paris boyfriend, Mamacella leaned over and whispered to fourth-grade me, “Now don’t you do that!”
I said, “OK,” and then she started giggling. I don’t know why that’s such a vivid memory.
But back to the thought– I remember Sabrina and the French chef every time I crack an egg to make brownies, and I feel grateful, especially to Mom, for allowing us to be carried away in stories when we were young. Not just movies, either (though John watched Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines every day one summer, I’m pretty sure), but books– oh, the books. The Great Brain series, Mary Poppins, the Little House series, Narnia. . . those were the worlds to which I traveled as a child. And certainly the ability to mentally and emotionally travel like that is something that’s valuable as an adult; helping one imagine what’s possible (now called “strategic thinking”), what type of world you’d like to live in, what kind of environment you want to create for yourself.
Beyond that, it’s easy for me to embrace the idea that I am part of a greater story; and a grand one. It’s OK now that I’m not the main character. But processing and living all those stories. . . it gave me a framework to process life. I know there will be conflict (crucial to the story!), there will be character development, and ultimately there’s going to be resolution.
As a little girl I squeezed my eyes tight and prayed that there would be a world like Narnia that I could go to, that I could open a closet door and be there. Of course, it didn’t happen for me like that. And even though I am not in fact Jo March from Little Women or Sacagawea the Indian Guide, or Christy teaching mountain children to read and write in a one-room schoolhouse, I want to be bold like they were. And I want the story to end well. It’s got to!
So, even as an adult, it’s not silly to pray now. It’s not silly to enjoy what’s beautiful and hope for what’s good, and hope, knowing, that what’s good has got to win in the end.