Whenever a bell rings, an angel has just got their wings.
Yesterday I watched It’s A Wonderful Life, the James Stewart classic. He plays George Bailey, who always dreamed of travelling the world but sidelined his wanderlust to take care of his family and friends in the small town of Bedford Falls. When his guardian angel Clarence shows him what the world would have been like had he never been born, George realises that everything he ever did reverberated in the lives of those around him.
Even though George didn’t fulfil his dreams, his was still a meaningful, a wonderful, life. As his daughter Zuzu reminds him at the end of the film, “Whenever a bell rings, an angel has just got his wings.”
Earlier in the film George tells his gal Mary about how he wants to see the world, then offers to lasso the moon for her.
Later, as he makes one of his first choices to turn away from his ambitions, a phrase on the wall reads: “You can only take with you that which you give away…” like a smile, like kindness, like love.
It’s one of those films I always cry at even though I must have seen it dozens of times, just like E.T.
In Spielberg’s finest, Elliott protects his friend from outer space by evading the authorities and cycling his BMX across the moon to get him back to his spaceship so he can head home.
I cry because I’m sad that George parks his dreams but am inspired by his kindness. I cry because I’m touched by the connection E.T. and Elliott have to say goodbye to but know that he will always be “right here”, in the little boy’s heart.
It’s the winter solstice today which, like these two films, reflect the vestiges of hope inherent in life.
In the Northern Hemisphere December 21 is the shortest day and longest night of the year. At the end of the darkest hours, the light always emerges.
That’s why you should keep following your dreams. How many people give up just before the light comes? What if the greats who lived before had given up when all was dark?
Along the way, if your heart is filled with hope and emanates love and kindness you’ll get back tenfold that which you give away.
So as long as you keep riding your bike across the moon, you’ll surely get your wings. And who knows, one day you may even lasso that orb of night.