2012 will be A Wonderful Year

 Last night our family watched It’s a Wonderful Life, as our we do every New Year’s Eve.

My favorite scene is near the end when George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) runs up the stairs to greet his kids and pauses to replace the top of the broken banister—symbolizing all his irritations, frustrations, and burdens. But now it serves as proof that he’s really alive in his own imperfect home and world, with the opportunity to act and to love and to be loved. He kisses it.

The scene just before this one shows George enthusiastically greeting the bank examiner: “Yes, I know I’m going to jail, isn’t it wonderful?” He had been granted a revelation and now perceived that his life had deep value and was worth living no matter what he might have to suffer.

It reminded me a line in Marilynn Robinson’s novel Gilead. The main character knows he will soon die. This awareness works like a steroid on his capacity to savor life itself, even with its dryness and difficulties. In the journal he is writing for his young son, he says, “There have been so many fine days this summer that I begin to hear talk of a drought. Dust and grasshoppers are fine in their way, too, within limits. Whatever is coming, I’d be sorry to miss it.”

That quote puts life into perspective for me.

It’s true—life itself is such a marvelous good that if it were no longer available, I’d thirst to have it despite the difficulties.

And all the “irritations” in my little world I take in hand and kiss because I’m still here. I get to live again today, to work and play,  to love and be loved. Who knows—2012 may bring gain or loss; it may bring flood or drought. But whatever is coming, I’d be sorry to miss it.

It’s a wonderful life.

Are there scenes from any movies or books that help put life into perspective for you?


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I am a Christian thinker, reader, and writer, who never travels without chocolate. See the “About” page for details.

3 Responses to "2012 will be A Wonderful Year"

  1. thyrkas says:

    A powerful movie, and one that needs its light moments for balance. Even Shakespeare knew the value of having a character we can laugh at (e.g. Falstaff) in the middle of a weighty drama.

    Here is a comment from writer/poet John Blase on the subject of one’s perspective on the New Year and all that comes with it (Posted on December 30, 2011 by thebeautifuldue): “I’ve noticed a number of people choosing a word for the new year, a collection of consonants and vowels to row toward in the often tumultuous seas of days ahead. I like that kind of thinking, not trying to dictate where the year takes you but digging around in the cellar of yourself and pulling up a word to give shape to the possible hopes of 2012. A holiday tradition in our marriage is a viewing of Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell. Its a wonderful movie, really top drawer. The life motto of Mame Dennis, be it good times or bad, is ‘Live! Live! Live!..Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.’ In the spirit of always slightly adjusting the rules, I’m choosing a phrase for 2012 instead of merely a word – Live! Live! Live! I have no idea what that phrase will mean in light of the weeks and months ahead but I’m hitching my wagon to those stars to see where they lead. Those words excite me, they elicit the same feeling I get from poet David Whyte’s line – ‘everything is waiting for you.’ Those words also embolden me, causing my spine to straighten in the face of the idiotic cockeyed nincompoopery I too often encounter that views life as something to conquer/a problem to be solved or something to get over with so as to get on to somewhere else.”

    • Tracey says:

      Wow, that’s quite a feast of insights! I feel more alive already. Thanks so much for sharing that, Teri. I’ve added Auntie Mame to my “MUST SEE IN 2012” list. The best line here for me is that there’s a higher way to see life than as a problem to solve. AMEN!! I’m so happy this is posted here so I can come back and read it again:)

  2. Shannon @ Distracted by Prayer says:

    The movie “Babette’s Feast” comes to mind. A young woman spends all she has to prepare an elegant feast in the midst of a common life.

    Thank you for the reminder. “He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil. My cup runs over!”


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