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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

savoring the sound of music



One of the highlights of this spring has got to be rewatching The Sound of Music. I vividly remember watching it a time or two when I was a kid (probably around 6 or 7), at least the first half, but it's taken me quite a while to convince my family to watch it again, now that I'm old enough to really appreciate it. And oh, man. On one hand, it was like travelling back in time to experience childhood memories, but on the other hand, it was entirely new and full of wonder. Even aside from the nostalgic love I have for it, it's just a genuinely good, timeless movie, and I see now why it is so treasured by generations all over the world.

As much as I would love to turn this post into a full-fledged review of the movie, that's actually not the point (despite what the title may insinuate). Today, I wanted to talk about how we can explore the beauty of the world around us and savor the sound of music in the everyday, The Sound of Music style.

 

make something unexpected (like clothes out of drapes)


Maria channeled her inner Scarlett O'Hara when she decided to make play clothes for the children out of her old drapes. I don't expect many of us to make clothes, or have drapes worth making clothes from, but take some time this summer to make something unexpected. A unique dish, a fun craft, repurpose or refurbish something. Maybe even try writing something different or starting a project that's outside your usual area of expertise. Experiment and explore!


take a walk (or dance) in the rain


If you have rainy summers too, then you're required to get out in it! Dance in the downpour, take a leisurely walk in the drizzles, or sit and enjoy it from the safety of a porch or gazebo, like Liesl and Rolfe do in the classic “Sixteen Going on Seventeen" scene.


learn a new song (or to sing)


Like the von Trapps, you may need to bring a little music into your life to make it seem brighter! If you can sing, like the captain, learn a new song (like one from The Sound of Music 🤭) or revisit an old favorite. Sing a hymn of praise to God, set the words of your favorite Psalm to a tune, or write a song of your own. If you can't sing, start with Do Re Mi, like the children did, or some tutorials on YouTube.


enjoy some pink lemonade


Make sure it's not too sweet, not too sour. 😜 You can make pink lemonade by adding cranberry juice or another pink fruit juice, or even throwing in a handful of frozen blueberries for a blueberry pink lemonade! If you're looking for a unique twist on pink lemonade, try making butterfly pea tea or violet tea and adding sugar and lemon. Butterfly pea and violet tea are both blue naturally, but adding lemon juice (or another form of acid) causes the color to change to a luscious pink!


dance everywhere you go


And don't be afraid to trip! One of my favorite aspects of musicals is the fact that everything becomes a dance. Walking down the road, hanging out at home, laughing, crying, talking, eating—it's all an opportunity to burst out in song and start dancing! If you're like me, most of time, you end up on your butt on the floor instead of executing that pirouette perfectly...but just like Julie Andrews tripped during “I've Got Confidence" and the director kept it in the final cut, it's often our mistakes that result in the most beautiful, or fun, or entertaining moments. Don't fear falling and failing and having to redo something; just do it anyway, and enjoy every minute!


climb every mountain


Not literally, of course, because some of us weren't built for mountain-climbing. *raises hand* But the Reverend Mother uses this as an analogy for tackling any obstacle that obstructs our path. Maria had to climb some mountains and face some giants before she could experience the peace and joy she was seeking, before she could achieve her dreams. Instead of being overwhelmed and using the mountains in our lives as an excuse to be complacent or give up on our callings and dreams, tackle those obstacles head-on! Maybe they're your own doubts and fears, or a lack of resources or support, or opposition from those in your life. Whatever's looming ahead of you, remember that if God's called you to this and placed this dream or desire on your heart, He'll equip you and guide you. You won't have to climb alone.


return to the things you love


Man, that scene where the kids begin to mournfully sing “A Few of My Favorite Things" and then, out of nowhere, Maria's voice entwines with theirs in a magical moment...yeah, I got teary-eyed. I knew she was coming back, but it still has such an effect on me, watching them all rush to hug her, and her just so free and full of joy, and then the captain showing up. AH! I think we all feel the happiness and excitement the characters feel when Maria returns, not just because they're smiling and laughing and therefore so must we, but because we too have something we treasure and love enough to run back to it no matter what. If you feel like something important in your life has been pushed aside, this is your sign to return to the things you love. Maybe it's a relationship that's taken a backseat to the busyness of life...a hobby you haven't had time for recently...or a project you haven't worked on in a while. It may even be God, your first love, who's waiting with open arms for you to come running back. When the love is real, it's worth going back for.


sing wherever you are


I love how Maria puts it to the Reverend Mother, that she can't seem to stop singing wherever she is, or stop saying everything she feels. The haters (lookin' at you, Sister Berthe) may take issue with honesty and music and happiness and call you a clown, and you may even feel hesitant to be totally honest with yourself or to find joy in any circumstance, but I guarantee you, you'll gain so much more out of it. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (ESV). Sister Berthe may not get it, but part of the contemplative life is unending prayer and rejoicing. Take the time to bare your soul to God, to spill your thoughts on the page of your journal, to give voice to your feelings. Find something good in every situation, and praise God for it. Don't stop singing. Don't stop experiencing and feeling and praying. Don't stop being who God created you to be.


pour your heart into whatever you do


One thing that can be said about this movie, Maria in particular, is her determination. Even though the von Trapp children put a pinecone in her seat and hid a frog in her pocket, and the captain is rude and harsh toward her, she still persists in caring for the kids and doing the best she can. In fact, she poured her whole heart into being a governess and into those children, even while knowing that she would soon be leaving. She was so assured that the Lord was guiding her path, and that it was His will she spend time with the Von Trapps, that she didn't let anything deter her from working and loving as hard as she could. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving" (ESV). Even if it seems like a menial task, even if it's tedious or temporary, chances are God's placed it in your life for a reason. And when we put our heart into what He's called us to do, we turn it into an offering to God, and our work brings glory to Him.


simply remember your favorite things


Whether that's brown paper packages tied up with strings or girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes...sometimes, all you have to do to lighten a dark day is remember all the beautiful, wonderful things in this world and be grateful for what God has given you! Maria knew something then that scientists have only recently discovered: gratitude can dispel anxiety and fear, because the brain can't process both at the same time. So try gratitude journaling or whispering up a prayer of thanks next time you're feeling scared or anxious!

I'd love to hear what a few of your favorite things are in the comments.


wait for the sun to come out


I loved every scene in this movie, but a particular favorite was the one between Maria and Liesl, after Rolfe betrays Liesl and her family. Maria advises her to cry a little and then “wait for the sun to come out," because it always does. That reminds me of Psalm 30:5, which says, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning" (ESV). Don't let the darkness and mourning overcome you...be patient and have faith that the sun will come out, your future is full of hope, and God is working, even in the darkness.


hold onto good traditions


Who else loved the scene where the captain and Maria danced the Ländler together? ✋ Even though what they did wasn't exactly like the traditional Austrian folk dance, the musical's choreographers still honored the original, just like Captain von Trapp sought to honor his country by holding onto the good traditions in the midst of a rapidly changing culture. Even though we're not in the middle of a wretched world war like Austria was at the time, we still experience dramatic shifts in our culture. And oftentimes, the good traditions, the beloved things of old, are left behind. But just because the world is moving forward in a new (arguably wrong) direction doesn't mean we have to go along with the flow.

Even in our individual lives, sometimes things get left behind after a big move, a new job, the death of a loved one. But when we honor traditions and preserve the things we love, we give new life to old things.


fight for the things that matter


While we're on the subject of the captain, one thing I loved about him was his strength of conviction. He didn't let anyone, not even Hitler, push him around. He stood up for what he believed in, even in the face of impossible odds. He fought for his freedoms, his country, his family. We live in a day and age where convictions are undermined in favor of far less important things. When the things that matter to you are attacked, don't be afraid to fight for them.

 
How can you savor the sound of music this summer? Which of these do you resonate with? How can you find inspiration all around you?










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8 Comments


Malana
Jun 19

This was such a beautiful idea for a post, Grace!

I haven't seen Sound of Music in far too long and you have me so wanting to watch it again, especially like you said, to view and appreciate it being older now. That'd be a musical I'd also love to see live.

I love all the inspiration here, especially dancing in the rain and gratitude and just being reminded of family and courage love that this movie is so good at portraying.

And this line: 'Even if it seems like a menial task, even if it's tedious or temporary, chances are God's placed it in your life for a reason. And when we put our heart into what He's called…

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 20
Replying to

Aww, thank you, Malana!!

I hope you get a chance to see it again!! Oh, yes, I bet it's amazing live!!

I'm so glad you found that relevant and encouraging! :D

Ooooh, yes, those are such lovely things!

Thank you for reading! 🥰

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Stephanie Chittle
Jun 18

My sisters and I have watched The Sound of Music so many times that I am nearly sick of it. Nearly, because I couldn't bring myself to actually be sick of it. Some of my favourite things are cheesecake, new books, old books, poems, paintings, and haircuts. (Honestly, haircuts just feel so good and sharp and clean...) I love the idea of holding on the good traditions. This is something I need to concentrate on more often, because all around me I see the evolution of my culture, and the preservation of it has barely been a concern. As for finding inspiration from all the things around me, I have been writing more, and trying to find new, descriptive words…

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 18
Replying to

Haha, yes, you better not be sick of it, girl! 😂 Oooh, yes, those are all such wonderful things!! Same here, girl. It's definitely something we could all work on doing more! Haha, coming up with the best word is always a struggle!

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Ceryna Ellise
Jun 17

I've not watched the sound of music in ages (although I should!). But I love all of the challenges. I'll be sure to try to complete these. Although the dancing wherever I go may be iffy....😉

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 18
Replying to

(You should!!) Hehehe, there's some wiggle room allowed for that one, naturally. 😜

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Hannah Ruth
Jun 17

I've watched the Sound of Music three times in the last three weeks (although I watch Shout Studios' Live version personally) and I cannot get enough of it. It may or may not be my absolute favorite movie, and I love all the thoughts you drew from it! Honestly, I watch it for the beautiful songs and dancing (your version of it is missing two fantastic songs, by the way), but I love the inspirational messages too. One of my favorite lines is when the Reverend Mother says, "Maria, the love of a man and woman is holy too." Always gives me goosebumps!

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Grace A. Johnson
Grace A. Johnson
Jun 18
Replying to

Three times?? Ahh, that's awesome! I'm ready to watch it again myself! (Aww, darn!! What two songs??) YES!! I love that line too!!!

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