…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Words of Wisdom from the Mother Abbess

Inspiration from The Sound of Music

By Eric Chaffey


This week is one in which I meet myself coming and going. It’s been a month of ups and downs. I’m house sitting while both my sisters are out of town. While I’ve been house sitting, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite movies. The Sound of Music has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember.

My first recollection of The Sound of Music is not actually the movie itself, but a record of the soundtrack. It was one of my favorite records to listen to and I still remember watching some of it on a small black and white TV we had when I was a child. I’m fairly certain I fell asleep long before it was over. But even from a very early age I loved it.

My favorite parts from very early age were the ones that took place in the abbey. The chanting of the nuns in the very beginning followed by the hymn and Alleluia are beautiful. The ending when they are hiding in the  abbey grave yard where the Mother Abbess and the other nuns show great love for Maria and her new family. The Mother Abbess reminds Maria that they will not be alone in their travels as she reminds them of Psalm 121. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help…”

I’ve never tired nor failed to cry in the scene where the Mother Abbess sings Climb Every Mountain. Pretty much any time I’ve heard that song it’s had that effect on me because of truth of it’s message. The idea of climbing the mountains of our lives and the obstacles we face is very real. We all have mountains to climb and streams to cross until that great day when we’ve found our dream. The mountains and the streams which lead to our ultimate goal are sometimes difficult, but never without blessings or promise. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that. But as we climb the mountain, the view changes. Sometimes we turn around and see a beautiful valley and notice how far we’ve come. Sometimes we see more mountains in front of us. Looking up we can see the vast expanse of blue. If at night, we can see the beautiful stars that stretch out far beyond ability to comprehend. Eventually at the top of the mountain, we find our dream and we find rest and peace.

The simple truths and message contained in this song are a good recipe for life and a great source of comfort and inspiration when I need it.

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2 Responses to “Words of Wisdom from the Mother Abbess”

  1. Rex Goode said:

    Beautiful, Eric. I too heard the LP long before I saw the movie. Checked it out from the library. When it came out, the last thing in the world my father would have taken us to was a musical. Most of them I didn’t see until they made it to TV. One time, we went to a drive-in and saw Oliver. My dad hadn’t realized it was a musical and almost left. My mom convinced him he’d be wasting his money, so we stayed.

    When I checked out The Sound of Music soundtrack from the library, I got out my tape recorder and made a fuzzy, noisy copy of Climb Every Mountain. That last note is a doosie!

    It really inspired me and I played it over and over whenever I was feeling discouraged. When I finally got to see it, it was even more inspiring–the light coming through the window, the reflective look on the face of Mother Abbess. It’s in my head for the day.

  2. Eric Chaffey said:

    Thanks Rex, I appreciate your insight and support. Love ya, Eric

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