The past week seemed like something shifted. Maybe I have allowed my mind to quiet enough to notice more. Time has taken on a different meaning. I imagine what I once accomplished in a single day. My energy was like “Wonder Woman” running through “No Man’s Land.” Equipped with a killer body, just a few super-powers, and her sheer determination-she would single handedly brave what no-one had. She would cross into enemy territory with nothing but her conviction and knowing what was “right.” Her belief and confidence were perhaps the strongest weapons against the bombs flying at her- and the unknown that awaited her. She prevailed, but never felt completely accomplished.

That was me. Every day, in high heels, without the cape and hot leather outfit - in my 62-year-old body, going about my former life.

Now, I think of Tom Hanks’ brilliant performance in “Cast Away.” From a deserted Island, stripped of all he had, after his near death in a plane crash, his survival dependent on his resourcefulness, his imagination, and his unwillingness to succumb to pain, life threatening circumstances, or the delirium that it caused. He forges through every minute of his mission to live, connected to Wilson, (a volleyball) his dear friend and companion whom he eventually loses- leaving him only with a picture of his wife and the Fed Ex package he has clung to, with the mysterious angel wings on the box.

He is finally rescued, but when he re-enters society and the life he knew, everything had changed. His wife had moved on; everything familiar to him was gone. Except the Fed Ex package he had to deliver.

When he reaches the address where he is to deliver the package , the same angels on the package are on the gates to the home. The package is for a woman who is an artist. She is not there.

What does he feel? I can only imagine, loss, disappointment, sadness, grief, emptiness.

As he is leaving, he comes to a crossroads. A woman sees him parked and stops to give him directions. As she is leaving, he notices the angels on the back of her truck. He looks back in the direction she drives off to.

Will he follow her back to her house? Will he let her know what she did for him while he was on the island? He never knew what those angels meant, but they made this one box so special- it didn’t matter what was in it, he never opened it, and he was determined to find its rightful owner.

Throughout the movie, Hanks kept a picture of his wife with him, and even painted her on the wall of a cave. That was his symbol of hope. When he returned and discovered that his hope had left him, angel wings became the symbol of his faith- in a future. We are left at the end of the movie wondering if he follows the artist back to her home, and something happens there for him. Or maybe he goes the other way. We don’t know.

I never really liked that word ‘hope.’ It always felt like it falls short: it leaves room for things to not work out. I like the word faith- the knowing, despite lack of evidence…the belief, despite lack of knowledge. I have faith, that whatever choice he made, Hanks’ character Chuck, ends up finding himself in the life he is destined for.

During this season of renewal and reclamation, we are being asked, each of us, every day, who we want to be. I have seen remarkable efforts of resourcefulness and strength and resilience-in the clients who have gone to great lengths to mobilize, to unify, so they can work, and I see in our team – those who work on your behalf - their determination to continue to work long hours, despite the challenges, to keep opportunities coming and to service buyers and you. We are booking new business, we are finding new connections, and we are a force, all of us, together.

photo of wilson from cast away

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