Friday, January 11, 2019
Where the Lost Things Go
During the recent holidays I took my nine- and seven-year-old granddaughters to see Mary Poppins Returns. In anticipation, them with popcorn in hand, one asked why we were there so early, the other answering her question, to be prepared. “At some movies, there’s a line-up of people,” I said.
Indeed the popcorn was disappearing into their mouths as we waited to get into the theatre. We talked about other movies going on there and about waiting until the staff was done getting the space ready. (How much popcorn lay on the floor?) It seemed like we were the only ones at that door, a bit surprising after all the previews for this movie.
The clean-up was done; we could go in. We’d talked about where we’d sit — not too close to the screen or at the back. Now it was time for them to choose the row. One wanted the aisle seat and so we found our place. Here we sat in a quiet and empty theatre, me and my granddaughters. They wondered if others were coming. I said I was sure more would come and speculated that the theatre might not be full (which turned out to be true). Most of their popcorn and drink was gone by that time. The girls had counted rows and seats across the middle. I didn’t expect them to sit still just yet or to be perfectly quiet. The popcorn and drinks diminished even more. Would we have to make an exit to the washroom in the middle of the movie? No, it happened before, while previews played and the feature was not yet begun.
One asked if the movie would be scary. I said, “I don’t think so, but if it is, close your eyes and hold my hand.” She nodded her head, that was okay.
Other people came in, snacks and drinks in hand. Women who may have seen the first Mary Poppins in the ‘60s, and a family in front of us with children the same age and younger as my granddaughters, maybe with a grandma in charge, like me. As far as I could tell there might have been no more than 30 people in the theatre by the time the feature began. Perhaps we didn’t need to come so early.
I wanted to see the movie just as much as the girls did. I’d seen the previews and the original on television and was glad we could come together. We weren’t disappointed.
I loved the music from the start. The characters were intriguing, the story of a family challenged without a mother and the home in need of repairs. To make things worse, two men knock on the door, giving the father only days to come up with mortgage money he owed the bank.
I won’t spoil the story for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie, but I will tell you that Mary Poppins returns, which of course is what the movie centres on. In one scene, the children had just awoken from a disturbing dream and miss their mother who used to calm their fears.
This is where Mary sings the song “The Place Where Lost Things Go.” It was sweet and gentle, like a lullaby and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s where I thought of my own Mom, so recently deceased, not lost as people often say, but not with us in person anymore. It reminded me of so much, and the tears rolled down my face. Still it was a gentle and peaceful song, that spoke of a loved one looking on to see how they’re doing, yet not close beside them.
Near the end, the younger one asked if the movie was nearly over. I suspected another washroom trip was imminent by the wiggling around in her seat.
The movie is well done with its animation, suspense, giddy and darker characters accompanied by many playful and serious tunes. While I appreciated so many of the songs, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” remains my favourite so that I had to look it up and listen to it again and again.
What’s my take-away? It’s fun to suspend reality for a while and enjoy a good movie with my granddaughters. But also, that what we miss, what feels lost, maybe isn’t so far away. That comfort is ours to be had, in the words of friends who care, in the knowledge that one day we will again be reunited with those who’ve gone “beyond the clouds.” Child-like perhaps, simplistic for sure, but sometimes it’s just what we need.
Carolyn R. Wilker is an editor, author and storyteller from southwestern Ontario, Canada.
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