As promised, Madame L considers today another story of a pilgrimage. In the great Biblical tradition, if our life is a journey toward the Promised Land, then we are walking across Egypt to get there. In the wilderness of our desires and sadness and human craziness and uncertainties, even when we're trying our hardest to do the right thing, we're never quite sure.
So, what if you're an older woman who has spent her whole life taking care of people who no longer need you, now still cooking up a storm and taking care of your own home and growing your own produce in your own garden and attending Sunday School and reading the Bible every day and playing a few hymns every evening before you go to bed, but feeling a little superfluous, a little in need of something, though you don't know quite what? What is left for you to do?
What if a stray dog shows up one day? You're way too busy with all that work to take care of a dog, so you'll call the dogcatcher, but first you'll feed the little thing. And what if the dogcatcher helps you get out of a serious (but hilarious) fix? And what if the dogcatcher's nephew is in as much need of help as that stray dog?
And so we are invited to witness and feel the pilgrimage of 78-year-old Mattie Rigsbee of Listre, North Carolina.
This book, which Madame L picked up at a library sale for 50 cents, is one of the best books she has read in a very long time, and she hopes all her Dear Readers will read it too. And now that Madame L has discovered this author Clyde Edgerton, she'll look for some other books by him.
Madame L had never heard of the author, nor had she heard of any hymn "Walking Across Egypt," until she found this book. Fortunately, though, the hymn, which it turns out was written by the book's author, is reproduced at the end of the book.
And Madame L found out that a movie was made from the book. Better still, the entire movie is available on YouTube. It has been changed in the way that books generally are when they're made into movies, but it's essentially the same story, the story of a pilgrimage, not only Mattie's, but those of the other characters.
You don't have to take an 800-kilometer hike on a trail in the Pyrenees to change your life and the lives of those on the same life's pilgrimage, do you.
The entire movie can't be displayed here, but you can find it on YouTube if you're interested. Enjoy!