It is not random chance that the header picture of this blog is a lone railway track heading off into the distance. It is a symbol of journey, growth, challenges, change. One of my all time favourite movies is Stand by Me. The film version of Stephen King’s novel (The Body). After the death of his friend a writer recounts a boyhood journey with three of his friends as they go in search of a dead boy killed on the railway tracks. The boys set out to follow the path of the train tracks to find the dead boy. Along the way viewers learn of the various ghosts in the boys’ lives that journey along side them. The boys challenge, and are challenged by each other and themselves to face some of these ghosts. The movie is more than a simple boyhood adventure, it is a journey of transition from boyhood to adulthood, a coming of age story as each has to face the past in order to move on into the future. There is a compelling scene in which Gordie (Will Wheaton) and Chris (River Phoenix) are lagging behind the other two boys and have a profound moment of friendship and realisation which exemplifies this. After finding their objective the mood and motivation of the two boys change, leaving behind the body they return home deeply changed by the experience.
The essence of this drama is one that is hard to forget. In life we all have ghosts that travel with us. And like these four boys we all have to take on a journey to discover and confront them. But we must also come to the realisation that we can move on from them. Simple scenes such as this, a lone track heading into the distance can remind us of this. And of the need to continue to journey. However, we must also take time like Gordie and Chris to stop along side the track, pause, and allow ourselves time to acknowledge our ghosts and to move on from them.