Changing of the Winds: Mary Poppins

I’ve always been entranced by a line in Disney’s original Mary Poppins movie. Julie Andrews says this line very quietly to the children at their bedtime when asked how long she’ll stay.

“I’ll stay until the wind changes,” she announces delicately to the children. As a child, that means only one thing: she’s going away. Mary is not permanent.

This perplexed me as a child and still rattles me a little as an adult. How brave Disney was to keep this element of the story, of change and letting go. Waiting periods and change are two of the hardest things for kids to understand. I’m not sure adults win the blue ribbon, either.

I’m in a waiting period in several areas of my life. In my writing, I’m waiting for my novel (M.B.) to be edited. Then I’ll begin the process of picking and choosing which edits to keep, tweak and pitch, while being in dialogue with the editor. This will be a slow, careful process. It will take times of quiet, humility and patience. I’m really looking forward to it.

How often we expect life to be the same and for people to always be beside us. Just like Jane and Michael expected Mary to be their forever nanny–staying with them throughout their lives and perhaps even into their adulthood. But no. Mary wasn’t always there and one day–soon–she’ll leave. As a follower of the rabbi in sandals and dusty clothes, I have faith in other constants in my life. But when my eyes stray back to the world and its distractions–how jarring it is how quickly things change.

I’m praying for patience and humility for myself. For my ears to be attuned to the whispers of Elohim. Often I feel very deaf to these. There’s a lot of noise in this world.

How do you walk through waiting periods? Kicking and screaming? Tubs of ice cream? Would love to hear your thoughts below.

Happy writing!

Song: “I Walk the Line,” Johnny Cash

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