Week 45 (Day 4): Force of Life


“As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,

he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,

they flourish like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,

and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children’s children—

with those who keep his covenant

and remember to obey his precepts.” – Psalm 103:13-18

How does one become a force of life?

A Force of Life sings a song of hope in the darkest of nights.

The first mention of the word flower, one immediately associates with it the ideas of beauty, freshness, youth, and hope. In poetry and song, flowers had been used to evoke a feeling of nostalgia, speak of a coming renaissance, or symbolize the transience of life. Culturally, the Japanese ethos is represented by a beautiful yet ephemeral flower, the sakura or the cherry blossom, which speak of the importance of living life in every breath. Jose Rizal himself wrote the beautiful poem To the Flowers of Heidelberg through which he reminisced the time he spent in Germany and the moments of deep reflection he had on his love for is motherland while he is in a foreign land.

The imagination of countless children of the 20th century was captured by the music and the narrative of the film The Sound of Music. For most kids, the movie is a succession of wonderful songs that express the vibrancy and energy of being young and adventurous. Do-Re-Mi, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and So Long, Farewell were just some of the songs that are until today being sung by children of all ages across cultures and countries. One of the most memorable songs and perhaps the most important song of the film is a song about an Austrian flower called Edelweiss. The edelweiss can be found at altitudes 1,800-3,000 meters above sea level where the air is cold and the atmosphere is dry. It is a delicate short-lived flower that grows where limestone can be most found. In folklore, the edelweiss is a flower given as a gift if one is to make a promise of dedication to someone they love.

“Edelweiss, Edelweiss

Every morning you greet me

Small and white, clean and bright

You look happy to meet me

Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow

Bloom and grow forever

Edelweiss, Edelweiss

Bless my homeland forever”

Captain von Trapp, the head of the von Trapp family, sings the song Edelweiss in two occasions in the movie. The first instance was with his children in one of the many rooms in their mansion. It was the first time that the captain ever sang again with his children after the death of his wife. It was a beautiful moment when a father sings a song of love for one’s motherland to his seven young children. He was teaching them through music what it means to be Austrian. The second time was during a singing competition held in Nazi-ruled Austria. He and his family was about to flee Austria upon learning from a telegram that he is being commissioned to serve in the German Navy. Their plan to leave in the dark of night was discovered by the Nazi officers. This event led him and his wife Maria had to come up with an alibi which led the entire family to perform in the singing competition. His love for his homeland Austria caused him to sing the song Edelweiss as a way of bidding farewell to his motherland and as a way to remind his countrymen that they are supposed to fight for the integrity and glory of Austria amidst Nazi rule. He could not be coerced to serve in the German Navy because he believed that Germany had not right to invade his country. At that time, he thought that the only way for him to be a true son of Austria is by leaving Austria. He sang a song of hope in a time of great personal and national crises. There could not have been a better song to sing during that time of darkness and uncertainty. After all, edelweiss is a flower that is given as a gift when someone makes a promise of dedication to the people or country he holds closest to his heart.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s