Lessons from an Elf

This morning was partly sunny, with  herds of clouds slowing starting to congregate and cover the blue dome.  The air was clean and crisp,with temps hovering in the 40s.  I should know. I went running with my new shoes.  Well, I wore them.  They are an early birthday present from  my dad.  They performed admirably.  I’m sure I’m running faster.

It’s raining now.  A lot.  This spring the weather has been the epitome of unpredictable.  One minute sunny, the next windy, then rainy, then back to sun.  Maybe a smattering of hail for good measure.  Kinda reminds me of this movie.

A man on the naughty list, Walter, discovers he had a son he never knew about:  Buddy.  Buddy (Will Ferrell) was raised at the North Pole, when he mistakenly crawled into Santa’s bag one Christmas Eve. He did his best to become a full-on elf, but at over 6′, he stuck out.  A lot.  And he stunk at reaching his toy-making quota every day. He kept a good attitude throughout, but he struggled with his place in the world.  Papa Elf, who raised him, finally told him the truth and advised him to head south and find his biological father.

And Buddy did!  But his dad was freaked out by Buddy’s adult innocence and bizarre behavior.  Social skills were lacking.  Walter got frustrated with Buddy’s seeming ability to misinterpret even the most basic instructions.  Don’t even get me started on the 4 Elf food groups.

But over time, the seemingly random and awkward appearance of an hitherto unknown family member brought  joy to Walter and his family.  Buddy had things to teach the cynical New Yorker and his other son, Michael. He had a place in the family after all.  Buddy had a childlike heart and a faith in people most of us have lost.

I think the things that knock us for a loop end up being serendipity.  We can’t just write them off as random events.  Through them, we learn about life, each other and others.  We come out the better for it. Maybe even with our furniture intact.


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