March Madness Sunrise (Victor Hugo part 3)

Victor Hugo wrote, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

basketball hoop in the sunrise_prirhouse
March Madness Sunrise – 2014


One of my all-time favorite scenes from ANY book – comes from a little chapter in Hugo’s Les Misérables, titled “Little One All Alone

In this chapter, Cosette, who is 8 years old, has been forced to go and bring back water for the Thenardiers.  This involves going into the dark forest, alone at night, while carrying a bucket so big she could actually fit inside of it.

Victor Hugo uses his great words to paint this gloomy, dismal scene; Hugo lets us feel the pain of this terrifying chore:

“Overhead the sky was covered with vast black clouds, which were like masses of smoke” and “a cold wind was blowing from the plain. The forest was dark, not a leaf was moving…”

And after Cosette almost “loses it” mentally – she musters up some strength and pushes on:

“Then, by a sort of instinct, she began to count aloud, one, two, three, four, and so on up to ten, in order to escape from that singular state which she did not understand, but which terrified her, and, when she had finished, she began again; this restored her to a true perception of the things about her. Her hands, which she had wet in drawing the water, felt cold; she rose; her terror, a natural and unconquerable terror, had returned.”

Cosette was agonizing and filled with fatigue – and after a short rest, she then….

“…summoned up all her strength, picked up her bucket again, and courageously resumed her march, but the poor little desperate creature could not refrain from crying, “O my God! my God!

At that moment she suddenly became conscious that her bucket no longer weighed anything at all:

A hand, which seemed to her enormous, had just seized the handle, and lifted it vigorously.

She raised her head.

A large black form, straight and erect, was walking beside her through the darkness; it was a man who had come up behind her, and whose approach she had not heard.

This man, without uttering a word, had seized the handle of the bucket, which she was carrying.

There are instincts for all the encounters of life.

The child was not afraid.”

Jean Val Jean showed up at just the right time and as his hand lifted the weight of the heavy bucket, her heavy load was lifted. 



Hugo titled this Chapter “Little one all alone” but in reality –  it is a scene of a rescue!  It a story of timing –  and how someone can help someone else carry a heavy load – and this scene highlights that we are NOT alone.


So keep that in mind as you go into this day – as the month of “March madness” winds down-  swooshes away – and as we move into a new spring season.  

Remember that you are not alone and God will never give you more than you can handle.  

I am not sure if it is a rescue you need, or if you are the one that needs to extend a reaching hand to someone – but we all can use “grounding in perspective” – because awesome days are ahead – and as Victor Hugo said:

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

rescue at sea_georgehand-wright
Rescue at Sea by George Hand Wright (ca. 1905)



the rescue by daumier
The Rescue by Daumier (ca.1870)


.and    p.s. – Go UVA!!

Read more of Les Misérables here.




11 thoughts on “March Madness Sunrise (Victor Hugo part 3)

  1. Maybe God will never give you more than you can handle, but it is also possible that he sometimes overestimates your strength. I did enjoy your post, though.


    1. Hello Emilio – well I know what you mean – and I probably should have reworded one part – because I believe the Lord also does NOT ever ask us to “handle” anything alone.

      And while it may sound like theology-babble to some people – I believe it is through God’s strengthening that we are able to push on – and so – in my humble opinion – I also believe that is why he sent his son – 🙂

      and well, I also know that people have differing beliefs – and so respectfully – this is just my view and experience, because I have lived this – I have felt the Lord’s strength carry me a many of times.


      1. I can not argue with you because I, too, respect differing beliefs. Though not particularly religious, my wife is. that can certainly make for some interesting discussions!


  2. There are times in our lives when we need to be rescued (and we are not aware) and there are times in our lives when we must rescue others and are unaware that we have. God DOES know are strengths. Its when we are overwhelmed, beyond all endurance that we must be willing to be rescued. Beautiful selections of test and art, merci.
    peace, mw


  3. Reminded of a story a young man once told me. His 100 pound pick ax had become weightless; Bear in mind. His dog barked and was between them both. He is a prospector and my good friend. Y you are mine too ;D


  4. Powerful , moving, words of hope in moments of fear and darkness. Yes, no matter how dark it’s been, the Sun will rise tomorrow and light will find its way into our lives. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the visit and for the comment. 🙂
      and well said….
      “light will find its way into our lives….”
      I also enjoyed your reflections post very much.
      have a great day IT!


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