Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harlod Fry

by Rachel Joyce

My husband has a quote from Plato at the top of his blog, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." In this story, that fighter is Harold Fry, and his wife, and Queenie, and the many people he encounters as he makes his journey across England. Harold has retired to a home with a wife who speaks only to criticize and an an estranged relationship with his only son. When he receives a letter from an old friend dying from cancer, he knows he must thank her before she is gone. As he walks to the post office to mail his reply, he realizes he can't stop walking, and thus begins The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. 

As Harold walked, he contemplated his life and relationships, coming to an understanding that although the past could not be undone, "beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways." He also met many people who encouraged and assisted him and who he in turn helped in some small way. Harold learned that "the world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other; and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time." 

Harold's cross country walk was a journey through a life full of joy and laughter, heartache and pain, discouragement and inspiration, and finally facing the giant. It is not an uncommon life or journey and it reminds us that we never know how big someone's giant is. 

I think you'd like Harold.

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