To travel through adversity

My strength is made perfect in weakness.
II Corinthians

DSCN3506
(black capped chickadee on an ice encrusted limb / Julie Cook / 2014)

That was rough…. Thing to do now is try and forget it…. I guess I don’t quite mean that. It’s not a thing you can forget. Maybe not even a thing you want to forget…. Life’s like that sometimes… Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat, slam him agin’ the ground so hard it seems like all his insides is busted. But it’s not all like that. A lot of it’s mighty fine, and you can’t afford to waste the good part frettin’ about the bad. That makes it all bad…. Sure, I know – sayin’ it’s one thing and feelin’ it’s another. But I’ll tell you a trick that’s sometimes a big help. When you start lookin’ around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it.
From the movie Old Yeller

If you’ve never seen nor heard of the movie Old Yeller, may I recommend it to you.
I’ve seen it perhaps only twice in my life, each time when I was around the age of 10. Each Sunday evening, when I was a little girl, The Wonderful World of Disney would air a weekly movie, sometimes animated sometimes not, always at 7PM. Bathes were quickly taken as fresh PJs were quickly put on, as my brother and I would quickly grab our pillows in order to plop down in front of the television in grand anticipation—-with Old Yeller being one such presentation.

As an adult, knowing the story line, my heart aches so that I simply can’t bear to watch it again– although it is indeed a positive story. The story will certainly leave the viewer with a lasting impression. A difficult impression, but lasting none the less.

The movie made its debut in 1957–and is based on a 1956 book of the same title. The story is not an easy one and involves post civil war hard times, in rural Texas, an old stray dog and a young boy’s transition from that of childhood to manhood. Love, struggle, tragedy, grief, growth, the cost of loyalty, death and hope are all intertwined, woven tightly together. By the movie’s end there is never a dry eye from those who are watching.

The movie is but a microcosm for much of life. Both our young hero and the old stray dog have much to teach us, the viewer. There is the story of the ultimate sacrifice made for the sake of loyalty and love. It is the story of an unconditional love and sacrifice—with that sacrifice bleeding into the most trying and conflicting of actions in the human heart, which gives way to a deep and almost consuming emptiness and loss.

Growing up is never easy as life is usually punctuated by difficulties and hardships, pain and sorrow. However, it is not to the hardships and the difficulties of which we must train our focus and attentions but rather we must look toward the end results. . .eventually looking past them, to the hope of a future.

If we spend all of our time and energies focusing solely on our troubles, then we never move our eyes from the current worry and woe. If we never pull our heads up in order to look for solutions or for a brighter light or for even an escape, we simply remain in the tortuous prison of the situation.

Our young hero was in such a sticky wicket, as life had already proven tough and unkind– when suddenly and tragically, the tough and unkind grew exponentially paramount. The ultimate discovery for our young hero was not that of bitter sorrow and a closed heart, but rather that life, for good or bad, is a continuum, it is something which is always moving forward. The choice of moving along with it, is simply and plainly the decision of the individual. Stay with and in the adversity, or work to move past it—that is the real issue.

As Sir Winston Churchill so succinctly reminds us: “If you are going to go through hell, keep going.” I would imagine he would have noted …”by all means, keep going and by all means get past it!!”

7 comments on “To travel through adversity

  1. You know I never saw that movie. Maybe I’ll see if I can find a copy of it. Nice post, missy. Blessings and hugs, Natalie 🙂

    • Are you kidding me—miss Texas ( via California) and miss english teacher never saw Old Yeller?? Run, don’t walk, to get thee a copy—be prepared to cry—now remember it was made in 1957—not the cutting edge we are so accustomed today, but the message terribly powerful!

      • What can I say? Must have been one of those clueless moments in my life of which I might add have been many more than I care to admit. 🙂

      • don’t feel bad, I’ve never seen Casablanca—nor read To Kill a Mockingbird—some classics just seem to pass us by in the dark of night 🙂
        and let’s not speak of clueless moments shall we. . . 🙂

      • Oh my goodness, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, was one of my favorite novels to teach. I love that story!!! And I’ve seen CASABLANCA several times although it’s not one of my favorites. So yes, we’ll have no talk of clueless moments… 🙂

  2. Lynda says:

    Julie, I never saw the movie and I suspect it was because I used to get so worried about the characters in movies or TV shows that my parents would threaten to refuse to let me watch anything. I used to weep my way through “Lassie” as a child. I hope all is getting back to normal for you. Blessings.

    • Oh I know what you mean–hence why I only saw it when I was young—I know too much now 🙂
      It would have most likely put you under—but the message is a good one, tough but good–
      Hope the sun comes out up your way—things are indeed getting a bit of an air of spring to come…:)

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