The Moon Is Reaching for Me

A landmark attraction in Palo Alto, the Stanford Theater is a cinema treasure by all accounts. Its splendid Greek/Assyrian style interior is dazzling enough; the mighty Wurlitzer theater organ, played during the intermissions, gives an added feeling for nostalgic refreshment.

If you are bombarded by the violence and sex in today’s films, the Stanford Theater is a perfect place to retreat on weekends and enjoy the classic movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It showed many of my most favorite movies, from Casablanca, to Roman Holiday, to Gone with the Wind.

Last weekend, we went back to the Stanford Theater for Billy Wilder’s Sabrina (1954), featuring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The movie itself is an age-old fairy tale story about a chauffeur’s daughter (Sabrina) falling in love with the estate family’s son. It is ’s timeless charm and beauty that still catches the fancy of millions of men and women.

When I first saw the movie years ago, in addition of being charmed by Audrey’s adorable grace, I was struck by one line in the movie that uttered an epiphany to me:

When her father Fairchild told Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) that she was trying to reach for the moon, Sabrina responded with such a confidence and demeanor:

The moon is reaching for me.” *

It was like a ray of gleaming sunlight that enlightened my entire world. I found this line incredibly empowering. Like Sabrina, so often, we are looking for things from outside to fulfill ourselves. We want to find that perfect man, the ideal job, etc., but we neglect the importance of nurturing the light from within. Like Sabrina, when we strive to be the best of ourselves, instead of reaching for the moon, we are letting the moon reach for us.

It was my epiphany then, and still is today. I dream the impossible dreams, and reach for things that are seemingly beyond my reach. I will always remember this line: the moon is reaching for me!

* For those who don’t remember the detail or who haven’t had a chance to see this movie, here is a little background: Sabrina, the daughter of a chauffeur who live in a large estate of a wealthy family, was hopelessly in love with the family’s playboy son – David, who hardly noticed her existence. After her return from Paris, Sabrina evolved into a beautiful and sophisticated young lady and finally won the attention from David. Her father, very much concerned of daughter’s unrealistic infatuation for David, said to her: “You are trying to reach for the moon.” Sabrina replied: “The moon is reaching for me.”

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48 thoughts on “The Moon Is Reaching for Me

  1. This is a very profound quote indeed. Hepburn’s line not only reflects inner light, but also illustrates that with one’s own introspection, others begin to reach out. It is very similar to a line from the recent movie Casanova, “Do not be the moth. Be the flame.” Albeit, this line centers much more on personal gain, but at its heart, it focuses on the same principle of introspection.

    As a sidenote, I very much enjoy your introduction for the piece through the use of the theater and its notable attributes.

  2. bellevoce,

    Thank you very much. I enjoy your comment. I am glad we share something in common.

    You have a beautiful blog too. Please come back often.

  3. I love this message.
    I saw the remake with Harrison Ford, and it was not as good. (They never are, are they?)

  4. Nancy, I didn’t see the remaike. I heard it was not as good:-).

    Marhsa, thanks for the comment. I saw the movie several times and never get tired of it.

  5. you know, i appreciated the whole article, but even had i only read the little explanatory blurb, you would have made my day.

  6. twa’s a nice movie i saw it twice and i often related it to myself but no moon has ever yet coming to reach for me.

    but i can see it people are reaching for my help and they are my moon now and am so glad to be of service to them.

  7. I remember this movie. How I wish that song, “I Only Have Eyes For You” would have happened at another time and place.

  8. Helen,


    Thats Happy New Year in Malayalam, the language that we speak here in this small state in South India!! Our New Year starts tomorrow, and thought I would wish u a wonderful year ahead!!


  9. Maybel, I am sure the moon is coming to reach for you, you may not aware of it…. Sometimes, things we want may not be good for us. In the movie, Sabrina finally realised that she didn’t love David, but Linus – David’s all serious and no fun brother. Isn’t it ironical?

    Susan, I like the song. Would like to hear your story.

    Velu, happy new year to you! Good to see you again.

  10. I love this article, Helen. You are such a good writer! I also loved the original “Sabrina” movie.

  11. Hi Helen, thanks for you visit and kind words. They were much appreciated.
    I have seen Sabrina, though I loved it I never actually thought about it so deeply. Thank you for that. Will keep coming around…bye for now

  12. I’m so glad we share the same taste in music! Read through your profile and I guess it must be Enya that you meant 🙂 Actually, I do enjoy classical music as well. As for Pu Shu, something that I love about his songs/music…they are hauntingly beautiful, something like petrushka, to be brief, as some feelings are hard to be described 🙂

    Helen, you do write beautifully! I enjoy your thoughts very much and I am definately coming back.

    The weekend is near, so here’s wishing you a wonderful and meaningful weekend!

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog and please visit again. you have a nice blog here. I loved Audrey Hepburn also.You can see her face radiate the happiness from within. thanks for sharing this beautiful write up. enjoyed reading it.

  14. Hello Helen! Came here from Kuan’s blog… and good that i did!! really like, what you have here…quite an insight into “taste of life”…

  15. plus, I enjoyed your art and poetry very much. Thanks for visiting and hope to see you often!

    Dumbdodi, thanks for visiting.

    Constance, thank you so much for your kind word and I really appreciate. BTW, I like your icon too.

  16. Sheer,

    Thank you so much for visiting and hope to see you often!

    BTW, I borrowed the moon picture from a friend… I don’t know who is the original owner. Hope we didn’t violate anyone’s copyright :-).

  17. oh what a wonderful article! i love old movies…and what a glorious theater. thank you for sharing…

  18. OH, Helen, no wonder you are so positive and delightful! I adore this sentiment. Thanks for writing so eloquently on this.

  19. Wonderful article. Sabrina is one of my favorites, also.
    It’s so nice to enjoy these elegant old movies in one of the elegant old theaters where they debuted. The Staford certainly eems to be at the top of it’s class.

  20. Great article. I once met Audrey Hepburn when she was the Ambassador of Goodwill. She still was the perfect lady of grace and poise. We lost a great lady when we lost her. I must have seen every one of her movies at least three times. Unfortunately I never got her autograph.

  21. I just discovered your tasteful blog, and I will come back often. I, too, am relatively new to the blogosphere, having first posted my story blog on this past New Years Day. Congratulations on all of your successes. Yes, if you work hard, America is truly a land of opportunity.

  22. Kwel work looking forward to reading your past and looking to see what cleverness you come with in the future keep em coming. Total awesome

  23. True…The moon reach out to us once we start reaching for it!

    I havent had the chance to see the movie but this statement gives me how the movie is. 🙂


    PS. Came here Via Maya

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