When I was about 10 years old, I saw a most impressive animated film on TV. It was about a shepherd who lived in a desolated remote area in France. Every night while sitting in his cabin, the shepherd carefully selected acorns. The following day, when he would herd his sheep, he planted these acorns into the ground. The two World Wars passed by, but the man continued his work undisturbed. The acorns sprouted and over the course of years, the barren land turned into a beautiful forest, teeming with life.
Somehow, the film has always stuck in my memory . So a couple of years ago I went looking for it. I found out that the title was “The man who planted trees” and that it was based on a novel of the same name by Jean Giono.
As a 10 year old, I guess I wasn’t really able to tell what struck me about this story. But now I’d like to try:
What I find so beautiful about the story, is that it shows that – despite adverse circumstances and limited resources – you can make the best of life. No matter what the situation is, you really can contribute in a meaningful way. You just have to use what you have as best you can. It’s all about patience, persistence and faith.
You can watch the whole film on youtube here:
(It’s about half an hour. The sound is a bit soft, so you may want to turn the volume up)
To me, it has become some kind of tradition to watch this film on New Years Day. It’s really a good start of the new year.
Enjoy, and all the best for 2013!