Saturday, January 12, 2008

Anything's Possible

Tonight my kids and I watched one of my son's favorite movies, "October Sky." The story of Homer Hickam and the "Rocket Boys" of Coalwood, WV is a classic tale of "against all odds". Just 24 hours ago, I felt like Homer descending for the first time down into the mine. In my head and heart, I had made a concession of sorts, an admission, that some things will never change, and may even get worse, and that no matter how much particulate matter I may have to inhale because of it, if it's considered "in the best interests of my children", it will continue.

And another day came. Despite the temperatures being well above normal, my daughter had ski lessons and it was a thrill and a gas to watch her zip down the hill on the heels of her instructor. Since the conditions were somewhat dubious I left my own skis at home and took in some much needed chill time with my son who despite my coaxing chose not to ski. I did not finish "The Golden Compass" which is going to make seeing the movie tomorrow kind of a cart-before-the-horse matter. But after my daughter finished her level and moved up yet another level, we came home, goofed off a while, made a beautiful meal suggested by my daughter, played a game, and then enjoyed the movie all curled up. As I write, my daughter is camped out on my floor for a special sleepover; she's probably already fast asleep as I soon will be, too.

I hope she knows, and that my son knows, that anything really is possible. I told them of the little girl down the road from me, and how poor she was, and that she wore the same dress sometimes for several days to school. I told them I remember UMW strikes, and how difficult it made everything. Even though my neck of the woods was not owned by the company, it was still poor, and is poorer still today. But no matter where you come from, if you have someone who believes in you, and a few people willing to make a little effort to help you succeed, great things can be accomplished despite all odds.

Do you remember the people who helped you most? My mother was always there, and through my life my brothers and sisters have always been there. I have good friends who stood by me, and I work for a couple of people who have great faith in my ability to accomplish anything I set out to do. All of us have those people, but few of us trust ourselves enough to hear what they have to say.

After the movie we went upstairs to get everyone ready to bed down for the night. While I was sorting laundry (of course I'm doing laundry at 11 p.m., it's what you do after a powerful movie, isn't it?), I happened to glance up at the sky. Too comfortable and sleepy to throw on coats and stand outside, we shut off the lights and gazed at the stars. Skittering across our field of vision was an airplane. The kids laughed and said, "Look! Sputnik!"

Anything is possible, don't you think?

Only appropriate to look into McDowell County, home to the former Coalwood, WV, for this evening's music. Meet a band called South 52 out of Welch doing that old ballad, Wayfaring Stranger, with a slightly new beat behind it. Hey, it's Welch, WV. What else are they gonna do, build rockets?

Yeah, well, maybe. But I hope not with that dobro.


At January 13, 2008 12:23 AM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

Anything is possible... how true.



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