Just in Time
Fox Theater… on the square in downtown Springfield, Missouri, is where I saw it for the first time.
I was mesmerized then and had no idea that decades later I’d be IN the stage production of that iconic movie; Mary Poppins.
Funny…. (well, not really) the things that drew me in as child watching are different than what has captivated me as an adult performing.
I remember loving the “magic” of Mary and thinking it would be incredible to snap your fingers and have things happen the way she did.
And honestly… I was a bit bored by the bank and chimney scenes.
My now adult lens sees through the mystic of the magic to the practicality of the lessons Mary was cleverly leveraging with her unsuspecting students.
I guess I expected that shift.
What I did not anticipate, however, was the depth of meaning in a show that by all counts most would describe as a “children’s production.”
From the perspective of color, costumes and visual fun… absolutely!
But listening closely to the dialogue and lyrics, the weight of meaning is nothing short of staggering.
Seriously, I could write about every song in the show and tie it to insanely practical personal growth principles!
For today, I’m keeping it to… two.
The whole kite flying scene is a relatively short portion of the stage show but it packs a powerful punch.
Michael wants to fly a kite, but as a novice is hesitant.
Now there’s definitely a knack to flying a kite… running for sure, but unless there’s the lift of the wind it will go exactly nowhere.
In many ways any time we attempt something new:
process for improving a system
…we can have all of the pieces in place, do everything we know to prepare… start to run and still have the “kite” wobble and hit the ground.
Depending on who is watching and how invested we are in achieving our goal the amount of time we spend getting the “thing” to take off… can vary.
Michael struggles to get his kite off the ground but persistence wins the day and it is whisked up and out of sight.
His surprise and pleasure turn to complete shock when moments later the kite is returned to him by Mary Poppins who literally flies in holding it in her hand.
That’s a real-life reality!
Tenacity in tackling and taming the insurmountable obstacle brings a sense of satisfaction that is unparalleled.
“You CAN have your own set of wings…. (even) with your feet on the ground.
You’re a bird in flight with your fist holding tight… to the string of your kite.”
So often… pursing the dream lifts you in ways nothing else can … and the story of the struggle becomes the best part of the tale!
Hands down my favorite song to perform was Step in Time; incredible set, energy and music.
At first listen… it seems a bit repetitive; all about kicking knees, linking elbows and stepping in time.
Light-hearted fun, right?
But sweep away the simplicity and there’s a rich message that our world desperately needs to hear.
Chimney sweeps see what others don’t see, because their perspective is different. (click for a show pic)
Their view from up above brings with it… wisdom.
“Brush away the dirt and soot.
Brush away the tears.
Cobwebs that aren’t swept away…. hang around for years.
We may look a motley crew, smudged with tar and grime,
But when you need a helping hand,
We try to step in just in time.”
Every person is on their own path… taking their steps.
And let’s face it, things don’t always go the way we wish they would.
Sometimes because of what is done to us… and sometimes because of what we do to ourselves.
But what if…. we all spent more time focused on how we could link elbows and step in… just in time to help each other on the journey?
That would create a magic that could lift us ALL to a higher height…. not with a finger snap, but by taking intentional steps.
Mary Poppins flies away at the end of the show… but her magic doesn’t have to.