As soon as I read Mary Poppins, written by P. L. Travers, life suddenly became rich with magical possibilities. It's a story about the unbelievable escapades of a stern nanny and her charges, Jane and Michael Banks. From the very moment Mary Poppins was blown by the east wind onto the steps of the Banks family's house, I was along for the ride!
Mary Poppins was a mystery to me. She certainly was far from perfect. And really, why should she be? Clearly the people around me didn't seem so. Mary was extremely opinionated, unpredictable and very strict. In fact, she was more than a little scary - nothing like my beloved, warm and fuzzy kindergarten teacher, Ms. Splaine!
So what was it about Mary Poppins that generations of children and adults found so endearing? In spite of all her imperfections, nothing was impossible for Ms. Poppins - the sky was the limit! Underneath her very proper demeanor - complete with upturned nose and black umbrella that enabled her to sail over land and sea - Mary made the improbable, probable, and the real, magical. Leading the way with Jane and Michael in tow, she opened the door to incredible and sometimes downright dangerous adventures.
And isn't it a necessary life skill to be able to discover your own power and put it into action? Mary Poppins certainly did that, and showed others how to do the same. That's one of my qualifications for a hero!