I usually initiate December by watching, The Bishop’s Wife, a 1948 black and white picture about an angel, Cary Grant, sent to help a Bishop, David Niven and his wife Loretta Young, with a cathedral project and a strained marriage.
Monty Woolley portrays my favorite character, Professor Wutheridge, who’s always on the verge of completing “the next greatest history of Rome since Gibbon.” The trouble is he can’t find anything new to write about. Time is passing by and whenever he walks by the local church cemetery, he feels likes he’s shopping for a new apartment. He despairs of ever finishing his magnum opus. Yet, scholarly and old as he is, it does not prevent his heart from believing that Grant is a real heavenly angel.
Another of my holiday traditions is reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, mostly for the uplifting sentiments that it addresses. One of the thoughts I find most touching in the film version with Alistair Sims is spoken by Mr. Fezziwig when he explains that he has spent a lifetime building up a business, not just for the money, but to preserve a way of life.
The 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife, a remake of the original The Bishop’s Wife, features a Christmas song performed by Whitney Houston, Who Would Imagine a King?. Written by Mervyn Warren and Hallerin Hilton Hill, the lyrics poetically relate Mary’s awe concerning the child entrusted into her care who would one day change the world.
When I measure my own life by these standards, I find that, like Professor Wutheridge, I too want to find something new to write about; to make some lasting contribution to the world of ideas, discoveries, and literature. But what can I say that has not yet been written? In what new way can I convey the world of the heart or express an eternal truth? And I realize that, like Mr. Fezziwig, preserving a way of living and thinking is important to me too.
I consider the Creator of the universe who made us in His image and likeness and I cling to the hope that the choices I make in living and in writing can make a difference in the world. Perhaps I may one day write a lasting novel that will become a tradition for readers. Better still, that my magnum opus will be the work-in-progress of a life well-lived that makes the world a better place because I am here.
See you next time on January 22nd.
Manager, Educator, and former High School Social Studies teacher, Veronica credits her love of history to the potpourri of cultures that make up her own life and to her upbringing in diverse Brooklyn, New York. Her genres of choice are Historical Fiction where she always makes new discoveries and Children’s Picture Books because there are so many wonderful worlds yet to be imagined and visited. She currently resides in Macungie, PA.