Before Indiana Jones can retrieve the cup that will save his father from a mortal wound in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, he must pass a series of tests. His physical and mental fortitude are tested. So is his faith.
No matter how many times I watch the scene, I am gripped by the leap of faith Jones is called to make in order to achieve his goal. Not only must he cross a bottomless chasm, he must face his fears and risk death.
Though I know all ends well, I root for Jones every time. One reason I suspect the scene grips me so deeply is that I take hope from the choices he makes in the face of adversity.
Isn't this why readers embrace Kate DiCamillo's little mouse Despereaux in his quest to save the princess in The Tale of Despereaux? And why we root for Frodo as he carries the one ring closer to Mount Doom? Don't we hope our readers will follow our own characters through thick and thin as they seek light in the darkness?
I can't yet fully articulate where or how I found the strength to embrace my fears about E's health these last six months rather than let them consume me. But I know where I found my solace during my darkest days. In my own writing, with my favorite characters and books, and in the company of friends and family.
Here's to Indie, Frodo, Despereaux, and all the heroes and heroines that bring us light in the darkness.