When I was very small, my nan (or my great-grandmother) gave me a copy of The Sound of Music. Since it was the 80s, the movie was squeezed onto two video cassette tapes, the first one ending as Gretl ran out of the room, declaring that this will be her first party.
Tonight, it’s been 50 years since this amazing movie was released, and I’m watching Diane Sawyer interview Julie Andrews on ABC and singing the songs to myself. These songs have been a part of my life for more than 25 years.
(As an aside, I met Julie Andrews at the Little Shop of Stories back in 2010. She is as beautiful and charismatic in person as she is on-screen.)
When the kids I nannied were scared of a thunderstorm, I pulled out My Favorite Things. When I struggled with finding the balance between my passion and a job, Climb Every Mountain echoed in my head. To this day, when I need a particular brand of courage, I Have Confidence is what I sing to myself (or, loudly, if I’m by myself). Senior year of high school, as our class was riding in a bus through the countryside of snowy Austria, every girl, at once, began singing The Sound of Music.
This movie shaped me, and I have this deep, indefinable love for it. The opening sequence takes me back to summer afternoons in the living room, sun streaming through the windows and my watching, rapt, as Maria twirled around Salzburg.
(As another aside, one of my biggest regrets is that, during that trip to Austria, we hit Vienna and drove right by Salzburg. I can’t believe I was that close, I saw the abbey on the hill, and couldn’t disembark and see the sights of my favorite movie. I will go back one day.)
Julie was my age when she filmed this movie, which makes me feel a sort of kinship with her. Sadly, I will never be able to sing as well as she can, but I can damn well make my life as meaningful and beautiful as she’s done. And maybe even find my own Captain Von Trapp along the way.
Climb every mountain.
Ford every stream.
Follow every rainbow.
‘Til you find your dream.