Some say there are no new stories, that everything boils down to some time-honored truths. The movie Epic, which was in part written by a dear friend of ours, Dan Shere, is a wonderful journey through the ultimate fight between good and evil, with good coming out on top.
It’s also a story of family and loyalty and honor and discovering what is right.
Yesterday, after my little guy’s last soccer game of the season, my assistant coach and I took the team for ice cream to celebrate. Then Dan, the kids and I booked across town to see this movie we’ve been wanting to see, Epic, which is so aptly named because of the universal truths that parade through this glorious journey of animation.
I have to admit, toward the end, with the ultimate face-off of good vs. evil, with the new queen of the forest, the ever-lasting life force, winning and the evil darkness banished forever, I felt my eyes well up with tears.
Because to watch the battle mount and carry out and to sit breathless, with a child on either side of me, knowing good would come out on top but still waiting to see how it would get there, praying it would get there, well, it’s overwhelming.
To see a thing of such beauty and creation, a storytelling that feels new while its messages are as old as time.
To know that a friend of ours who lives a modest life in the suburbs of middle America contributed to this timeless creation.
I emerged from the theater with a message not just of good winning over evil, but of a message about the incredible things ordinary people can create.
We are all at the core ordinary and extraordinary. We all have a mission to accomplish and so few of us know what that mission is.
In the movie, the main character, MK, learns that timeless lesson, that she has a mission to fulfill and in the process, it will fulfill her. It is a lesson for us all.
The little things – coaching soccer, baking cookies with my children, pumping our legs on the backyard swings – the little things amount to big things over the course of a life. A walk with a friend, a conversation in the hushed tones of night, a laugh – a belly laugh – to still the silence.
The meaning in between the moments, I’ve always said that’s what makes the world spin. Those tiny fireflies of meaning that we try to hold in our palm but which flit away as soon as we notice their shining light, that’s what makes a life worth living.
Years ago, someone I thought was wise told me that my mission to find the meaning in the mundane was stupid.
That was a person who was full of lives. That was the evil masked by sunshine.
That person melted away. The voice I can’t even hear anymore.
What has remained true is my instinct that good always wins and that we are each here in this lifetime to make meaning and help others do the same.
So simple. So hard to listen to the little voice deep within me. But that’s the voice that always speaks the truth. It’s a lesson that is, frankly, epic, timeless, spanning a lifetime.