From Eleanor Porter's delightful tale...
"Pollyanna had not hung up three of the pendants in the sunlit window before she saw a little of what was going to happen. She was so excited then she could scarcely control her shaking fingers enough to hang up the rest. But at last her task was finished, and she stepped back with a low cry of delight. It had become a fairyland--that sumptuous, but dreary bedroom. Everywhere were bits of dancing red and green, violet and orange, gold and blue. The wall, the floor, and the furniture, even to the bed itself, were aflame with shimmering bits of color. "Oh, oh, oh, how lovely!" breathed Pollyanna; then she laughed suddenly. "I just reckon the sun himself is trying to play the game now, don't you?"
she cried, forgetting for the moment that Mr. Pendleton could not know what she was talking about. "Oh, how I wish I had a lot of those things! How I would like to give them to Aunt Polly and Mrs. Snow and--lots of folks.
I reckon then they'd be glad all right! Why, I think even Aunt Polly'd get so glad she couldn't help banging doors if she lived in a rainbow like that. Don't you?"
Mr. Pendleton laughed. "Well, from my remembrance of your aunt, Miss Pollyanna, I must say I think it would take something more than a few prisms in the sunlight to--to make her bang many doors--for gladness. But come, now, really, what do you mean?"
Pollyanna stared slightly; then she drew a long breath. "Oh, I forgot. You don't know about the game. I remember now."
Pollyanna & I have a lot in common, losing parents & being "taken in" by others, but also being rather frank & truthful. My very young parents were heading for disaster right from the start of their unsupported, early 60's marriage. The violent & shattering ending to this short-lived union, ruined my mothers well-being & instilled a life long shame of abandonment & unwantedness in me. I went from a happy little vintagey life with wee blue houndstooth school bag, containing delicious squishy cucumber & tomato sandwiches, to a life of cold mashed potato with hard uncooked lumps in it, no seasoning & no butter, not on your life! There were no hugs, kisses, explanations or kindness & I grew up with the words "if you can't say anything good DON'T say anything at all" ringing in my ears. The insistent voices of condemning censure have almost done my head in as I write this.."shut up!!", "surely you're over all that by now!!!"...on & on & on they deride me, hissing about family loyalty. Our carpets (as it turned out) were never anything but made of eggshells & peace never returned to our "family". The last time I saw my mother was in an ambulance on her way to hospital. I couldn't talk to her the next day, or the next week or the next year, in fact, I didn't see her again properly until I was nearly 30.
As a child I did not grieve & I cannot tell you why.
Now, 45 years later..
I have been surrounded by grayness for days & days..I thought it would pass & life would resume but their is a certain shade of gloom surrounding me & there are monsters under my bed.
I'm sure that most of you know how fairies came about-
If you happen to have got a dud (mother), please know, that this occurrence is actually quite rare. There is, however, little that can be done about it at this time...very sorry!
My brother has no recollection of these things as he was not much more than a baby at the time, but my saving grace (& I absolutely mean by the grace of God) was my unlikely meeting of Rob when I was 17.
I have since become an explorer of truth & beauty. People are quite happy with the last part I find, just not so comfy with the first bit. My dedication to truth has enabled me to navigate 30 years of marriage despite massive obstacles; my pursuit of beauty has given meaning to my life & healed a great many things.
"Pollyanna laughed again, but she sighed, too; and in the gathering twilight her face looked thin and wistful.
"Why, we began it on some crutches that came in a missionary barrel."
"Yes. You see I'd wanted a doll, and father had written them so; but when the barrel came the lady wrote that there hadn't any dolls come in, but the little crutches had. So she sent 'em along as they might come in handy for some child, sometime. And that's when we began it."
"Well, I must say I can't see any game about that," declared Nancy, almost irritably.
"Oh, yes; the game was to just find something about everything to be glad about--no matter what 'twas," rejoined Pollyanna, earnestly. "And we began right then--on the crutches."
"Well, goodness me! I can't see anythin' ter be glad about--gettin' a pair of crutches when you wanted a doll!"
Pollyanna clapped her hands.
"There is--there is," she crowed. "But I couldn't see it, either, Nancy, at first," she added, with quick honesty. "Father had to tell it to me."
"Well, then, suppose you tell me," almost snapped Nancy.
"Goosey! Why, just be glad because you don't--need--'em!" exulted Pollyanna, triumphantly. "You see it's just as easy--when you know how!"
"Well, of all the queer doin's!" breathed Nancy, regarding Pollyanna with almost fearful eyes."Oh, but it isn't queer--it's lovely," maintained Pollyanna enthusiastically. "And we've played it ever since. And the harder 'tis, the more fun 'tis to get 'em out; only--only sometimes it's almost too hard--like when your father goes to Heaven, and there isn't anybody but a Ladies' Aid left."
Last week Rob & I watched The New Pollyanna (2003). We utterly adored it!!
I must just say that the Glad Game is not precisely the same thing as doing gratitude lists & keeping thankfulness diaries. For instance I am very grateful for my husband & his faithfulness & friendship & that he has settled in to a new job, however, the new job came with the challenging implications that he has now worked through a whole year of almost all afternoon shifts. Which means he goes to work for 3pm & gets home around 11.45pm. Now, considering that I am still plagued by bouts of abandonment & loneliness this did not seem at all ideal BUT we decided to be glad because it meant that we got to see each other every morning, go for walks, have coffee together, Rob could help me sell the fruit while I got my gardening work done & I could spend time doing blogging & stuff in the evenings while he was gone. It is very strange cooking dinner for myself & sometimes it's hard, but it's working & I'm so glad.
Please do take this wee button if you'd like to join in the game & it appeals to you. Or perhaps if your are quite clever you could fix the white background bit..that would be better.
This post may well not have been at all what you expected. Thank you so much for being here (if you got this far) & wading through my ramblings.
As it turns out this is a Catholic prayer. I heard it for the first time this week. I think it is so beautiful.
O Angel's of God from heaven so bright,
watching beside my children to lead them aright;
fold your wings around them & guard them with love;
softly sing songs to them of heaven above.