It's the 45th anniversary of the wonderful film version of Rodger and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music". I joined some friends a few nights ago at a local movie theater for a "sing-a-long" version. It was fun – belting out the words and phrases I know and stumbling over those I couldn't quite remember, along with everyone else!
I got to thinking about the sweet little song "Edelweiss". OK, it is a fictionalized Austrian folk song written for the show. But I'd forgotten how, within the story, the song is deeply political, patriotic, and defiant of the impending, destructive Nazi regime.
I felt a bit envious of the character "Captain Von Trapp", who sings the song most often. Do we here in the USA have a natural being, like a flower, or plant, or mountain, that organizes our loyalties, focuses our energy, calls us to our better selves for the sake of the larger community the way edelweiss does in that story?
If we had foreign invaders or a foreign regime in our homeland doing to our mountains and lakes and forests what we allow to happen to our mountains and lakes and forests (by big business) we would be outraged!
The practice of "mountain top removal", the decapitation of mountains for coal (it is really ecosystem annihilation and mass destruction), prevents any sound of music from coming from those destroyed mountains, those filled valleys, those mistreated humans that live there. What creativity might have emerged that would inspire and the Earth community? How would the opening and final scenes of the film look if the previous generation had torn the alps down for gravel? No fields filled with edelweiss, no well-worn paths as escape routes through the mountains to neutral ground.
May we learn to live with the mountains and the flowers so that we may all bloom and grow forever, together.
Here is a sweet rendition of the song (1:20): \"Edelweiss\" sung by John Denver and Julie Andrews