As I look outside my window as I type, I see a growing river of water flowing through my back yard, fed by the stream coming through our breezeway and along our back verandah. I can also see a soggy butcher bird and a few mickey birds (noisy miners), sheltering from the heavy rain in our gazebo.
A short time ago, we had a power outage for about 40 minutes – just long enough to start thinking about whether we need to paddle through our backyard river to the shed to find our generator. Luckily the power was restored before we needed to get wet.
Although the focus of most people in south-east Queensland, where I am, is on cyclone Marcia, another cyclone is also affecting the Northern Territory. My thoughts and prayers are with all those seriously affected by strong winds, heavy rains, tidal surges, and flooding.
With the rain bucketing down outside, it is hard to think of anything other than rain, cyclone, and water.
However, as I was trying to busy myself earlier in the relative darkness of our power outage, I was suddenly reminded of Pollyanna, a very old movie that I took great pleasure in watching a few weeks ago. Unlike most modern movies, I found Pollyanna very uplifting, because, in essence, it was about real love.
You may not remember the movie, starring a young Hayley Mills, but I’m sure you have heard of the derogatory term associated with the name:
“You’re a real pollyanna!” “Oh, don’t be such a pollyanna!”
Or, am I showing my age?
In case you have no idea what I am talking about, a pollyanna is a term given to someone who seems to be forever cheerful. When others are grumpy, worried, or even irate, she manages to find something to be thankful for, something to be glad about. People seem to get more annoyed, when they have someone reminding them that there is always something to be happy about.
Pollyanna, in the movie, used to play a game called ‘the glad game’, during which she would always aim to find something to be glad about, no matter what her circumstances.
Today, I decided to play ‘the glad game’:
I am glad that I am not in the centre of the storm.
I am glad that I am with my loved ones in a dry cosy house.
I am glad that, even if we lose power, we still have access to water. (A couple of friends lost power for a few days, a while ago, and had no pump for their water tank, therefore no tap water, no showers.)
I am glad that we have gas hotplates, which means that, even without power, we can still cook food.
I am glad that we have a small generator that we can rely on if we need it to keep our freezer going.
I am glad that we have plenty of food in the house in case of local flooding.
I am glad that the stream that has formed around the outside of our house is outside, and not through the middle of it.
I am glad that, at this point in time, I have had no reason to go out in the pouring rain. (I don’t have to go to work today as many have had to do, some, like delivery drivers, becoming particularly soggy, despite waterproof clothing, just like the birds.)
I am glad that we shouldn’t need to worry about watering our lawns and gardens for quite a while.
I am glad that we were able to provide some shelter for the birds.
I am glad that sometime soon the rain will stop.
I am glad that I can remind you that, no matter what is going on around you, there is always something to be glad about.
I am glad that God has provided a system within our minds, whereby the cork will always float, if we allow it to. If we can turn our focus from the heavy rain, or the irate person, to something that we can be glad about, we can start to feel joy. The more we find to be glad about, the more joy we feel.
I am glad that I was reminded of Pollyanna, and I am glad if anyone wants to call me ‘a real pollyanna’.
I am glad to be filled with joy.
May you find something to help your cork to float, without getting wet in the process. May you find something to be glad about. May you find a way to think about Pollyanna instead of Marcia.