This morning, crawling through the usual social media sprawl, I ran upon a single image that made me stop for a moment. Now, I don’t mind admitting that I stared at it for longer than the other posts I had been looking at. My mind began to wander, and my brain was suddenly thrown into a random thought spiral. It reminded me of a time long ago. An age that was long forgotten.
It reminded me of when I was young.
I’m kidding. I’m not really that old. Or am I? I suppose it doesn’t matter. The point is, this picture hit me deep down.
For those who may be unfamiliar with it, these series of pictures are from the 1988 movie, The Land Before Time. This film was a young child’s fantasy – a wondrous journey through a world that has long since passed. It’s not far-fetched to believe that I owe a good portion of my love of dinosaurs to this movie. But now that I look back, it was so much more than that. It was also probably, one of my first introductions to the realities of the world we live in. An education that life itself can be harsh, unforgiving, and filled with pain.
The movie follows the adventures of Littlefoot, an Apatosaurus that makes unlikely friendships in a bid to survive a long journey after losing his family. If you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to post any spoilers. On the other hand, if you’ve seen it before, I probably won’t have to. This is not the type of movie you can easily forget. Through its 80 minute runtime, we are exposed to violence, loss, sadness, grief, anger, prejudice and depression. All the while, we are constantly being reminded that the road ahead is a difficult one. You will make choices in your life that may have dire consequences for you and those around you. In retrospect, that’s a lot for any kid to fully absorb. These are crucial lessons nonetheless. Would a movie like this be made in today’s world? I have my doubts. At least, not in the same way.
But if you look past all the cold, dark truths the movie presents, there is still a single glimmer of hope – a driving force that keeps them going. This is far more than a simple survival instinct. And despite the dark path that looms before them, they carry on knowing that they have little chance of survival or success.
Well, that’s the real question, isn’t it?
Life isn’t easy, times will get dark, and you will have struggles. There are moments you will feel like giving up. But know that tomorrow will come. A new day. A new adventure. Take things one step at a time. And while your choices will affect the outcome, sometimes that outcome is beyond your control. You may not be able to forget, but it is ok to let go.
So when you feel like you’re completely lost, and you aren’t sure what to do, remember…
Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.
Cover image credit: Maquenda