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Age-old ambition

Film shows it’s never too late to have an adventure, writes Claire Brine

She may be 83, but she can still change things

BURIED in the attic is an old postcard of the Scottish Highlands. Finding it gives an 83-year-old widow an idea. Hoping that it’s not too late to achieve a lifetime’s ambition, she sets off to climb a mountain. That’s the backdrop to Edie, now on general release in cinemas.

After the death of her husband, Edie (Sheila Hancock) reflects on the life she has lived and the years alone ahead of her. Admitting to herself that her long-lasting marriage wasn’t happy, she regrets the opportunities she missed because of it.

Then, while clearing boxes in the attic, she finds the old postcard from her dad. She remembers that he had planned to take her to the Scottish Highlands to climb Mount Suilven, but he died before they had the chance. Edie wonders if it’s too late to make the expedition alone.

She decides it’s not.

Director Simon Hunter tells The War Cry: ‘Edie is feeling lost after years of being trapped in a very difficult relationship. She knows she’s coming to the end of her life and that it hasn’t panned out well. But through the film she also comes to understand that it’s not too late to have an adventure. She may be 83, but she can still change things.’

After arriving in northwest Scotland, Edie hires activity store worker Jonny (Kevin Guthrie) to train her and be her guide as she climbs the mountain. They don’t get off on the right foot.

‘At first, Edie is prickly with Jonny and annoyed by him,’ says Simon. ‘Jonny’s view is that he and old people have nothing in common. But as time goes on, he sees her as a soulmate.’

On an evening out, Edie has a fall. It’s not serious enough to cause an injury, but it causes her to baulk at the size of the task ahead of her. Full of self-doubt, she tells Jonny she is going to give up on her mountain challenge.

‘It’s too late. I’m not able to do it,’ she cries out.

‘But Jonny motivates Edie,’ Simon explains, ‘by giving her the mental boost she needs. He gives her confidence when he says: “You can do this.”’

The day of Edie’s mountain climb dawns. She doesn’t know if she will make it to the peak. But she knows she has to try – before it’s too late.

However old we are, choosing to press forwards when faced with the great unknown is never easy. Sometimes our circumstances create fear, which causes us to stop in our tracks. Obstacles looming in the distance can make us feel discouraged. The possibility of failure is painful enough to make us want to quit trying.

To help us navigate the unfamiliar path ahead, we need a guide who will support and encourage us as we take each step.

In the Bible, God promises to stick with us as we walk through all experiences of life, good or bad. One of its writers described how ‘the Lord … leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths’ (Psalm 23:1–3 New International Version).

Whatever mountains lie in front of us and whatever roads we choose to take, God can be trusted to guide us through life – if we ask him to accompany us on the journey.

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