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Days Are Shadows

There are 9 words, when sung, that take me back to my childhood and to a very famous movie.

The opening scene is probably one of the most recognizable scenes in film history.

Set on a slight hill in a spacious green meadow, the German Alps in the background, this song makes me smile. The scene is breathtaking and was filmed near the Austrian border.

The camera shot swoops in over treetops as the female character begins walking. The camera zooms in as she makes one complete twirl and begins singing.

Have you guessed?

If you are over the age of 50, chances are you have.

I must confess, I don't know the rest of the song, only the words "The hills are alive, with the sound of music."

You either love the movie, or you don't. I know both kinds of people. And as much as I love music, I am not a big fan of musicals. But this movie is an exception.

The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the children, and eventually their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children. Many songs from the musical have become standards, including "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music". - Wikipedia

It wasn't until years later, watching a documentary on the family, that I realized it wasn't as true-to-life as we would have liked to think. Liberties were taken, including how the family made their escape.

This morning a headline on my computer caught my attention. "Rosmarie Trapp, a member of the singing family made famous by the stage musical and film “The Sound of Music” and the last surviving daughter of Baron Georg Johannes von Trapp, the family patriarch, died on May 13 at a nursing home in Morrisville, Vt. She was 93."

I always feel a bit melancholy when I hear of an elderly person passing. I wonder how much history dies with them. What did they see change in their lifetime? What new inventions shocked the world as they celebrated birthday after birthday?

Psalm 144:4 tells us "Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow." NKJV

Life is never long enough.

Job wrote "For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow." Job 8:9 ESV

There is a saying, "Time flies when you're having fun".

I beg to differ. Time flies regardless!

When I was a teen there was a song playing on the radio. As sad as it made me feel, I couldn't help but sing along.

My child arrived just the other day

He came to the world in the usual way

But there were planes to catch and bills to pay

He learned to walk while I was away

And he was talking 'fore I knew it and as he grew

He'd say, "I'm gonna be like you, dad

You know, I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when

We'll get together then, son, you know we'll have a good time then"

Well my son turned ten just the other day

Said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on and let's play

Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today

I got a lot to do" he said, "That's okay"

As he walked away his smile never dimmed

Said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah

You know, I'm gonna be like him"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

"When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when

We'll get together then, son, you know we'll have a good time then"

Well, he came from college just the other day

So much like a man I just had to say

"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"

He shook his head and he said with a smile

"What I'd really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys

See you later

Can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon

Little boy blue and the man in the moon

"When you coming home, son?" "I don't know when

But we'll get together then, dad, We're gonna have a good time then"

Well, I've long since retired and my son's moved away

Called him up just the other day

I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"

He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I could find the time"

"You see, my new job's a hassle and the kid's got the flu

But it's sure nice talking to you, dad

It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me

He'd grown up just like me

My boy was just like me... (Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin)

When I was a child my mom would sing the song Turn Around.

Where are you going my little one, little one

Where are you going my baby my own

Turn around and you're two

Turn around and you're four

Turn around and you're a young girl

Going out of the door

Turn around

Turn around

Turn around and you're a young girl

Going out of the door

Where are you going my little one, little one

Little drendils and petticoats, where are you now

Turn around and you're tiny

Turn around and you're grown

Turn around and you're a young wife

With babes of your own

Turn around

Turn around

Turn around and you're a young wife

With babes of your own...

That song gave me a sense of how fast time passes, but I didn't realize how fast until I had children of my own and then grandchildren and now, I am fast approaching 60. How did this happen? I have more years behind me than I could possibly have in front of me.

It seems rather bleak, doesn't it? But it's not my friend! Worldly song lyrics don't begin to describe what God has planned for us.

We are told "...Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV

We are on this earth for only a very short time. Peter, an apostle of Christ, described it as our stay here.

"And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here..." 1 Peter 1:17 NKJV

The pain you feel will not last. The loneliness you feel will not last. The sickness you are enduring, the frustration you are will not last. Jesus is coming!

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." Luke 21:33 NKJV

What we are living right now is only the tiniest speck on the radar of reality. Jesus promised us He would be back. He will take us off this sin-filled planet to our heavenly home. We have the choice. Do we want that perfect life He has planned for us?

"And the world is passing away...but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:17 NKJV

By the way, the news story went onto say, "Rosmarie is not depicted in “The Sound of Music,” which focused on the seven children Georg von Trapp had with his first wife, although she was in fact almost 10 when the family fled Austria in 1938 after that country came under Nazi rule. Among the many liberties “The Sound of Music” took with the family’s story was the timeline — Georg and Maria actually married in 1927, not a decade later.

In any case, Rosmarie did travel and perform with the Trapp Family Singers for years and was a presence at the lodge in Stowe, where she would hold singalongs for the guests. She acknowledged, though, that it took her some time to embrace the fame that the musical thrust upon her after it debuted on Broadway in 1959, beginning a three-year run, and then was adapted into a 1965 movie, which won the best picture Oscar.

“I used to think I was a museum,” she told The Chicago Tribune in 1997, when she was evangelizing on behalf of the Community of the Crucified One, a Pennsylvania-based church, “but I can’t escape it.”

“Now I’m using it as a tool,” she added. “I’m not a victim of it anymore.”

Rosmarie Barbara von Trapp was born on Feb. 8, 1929, in Aigen, a village outside Salzburg, Austria. The family began singing publicly in the 1930s in Europe, but the baron had no interest in cooperating with Hitler once the Nazis took control, and so the family left Austria, taking a train to Italy. (The “Sound of Music” depiction of the departure was fictionalized.)

The family gave its first New York concert, at Town Hall, in December 1938 and soon settled in the United States, first in Pennsylvania, then in Vermont.

“We chose America because it was the furthest away from Hitler,” Ms. Trapp told The Palm Beach Post of Florida in 2007, when she spoke to students from the musical theater program and Holocaust studies classes at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens.

The family singing group continued to perform into the 1950s. Late in the decade, Ms. Trapp and other family members went to New Guinea to do missionary work for several years. Ms. Trapp’s father died in 1947, and her mother died in 1987.

Ms. Trapp’s brother, Johannes von Trapp, is the last living member of the original family singers and her only immediate survivor.

The Trapp Family Singers repertory, of course, included none of the songs later composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for “The Sound of Music,” but when Ms. Trapp gave talks like the one at the Florida high school, she would gladly take requests for a number or two from the musical.

What did she think of the film?

“It was a nice movie,” she told The Post in 2007. “But it wasn’t like my life.” (Source:

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