Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Bookish


If there was one word I would use to describe my family, if I sipped coffee and pondered and thought about it long enough... that word would be Bookish.

First and foremost, we are people of the Book.  All that is important, everything which encompasses our being, is found in the Book.  We dedicated both our children to the God of the Book (and returned our first born back to His Presence).  Knowing God gave us two children to raise and one who is waiting... we raised them by the Book.

Not Dr. Spock but the Book of the Ancient of Days.  One of my life verses is found on the sidebar of this blog, one that tells us to "look to the ancient paths".  Those very paths and lanes and highways are found in that Book.

Something magical happens when one reads (Narnia magic you know).  I am convinced that Story is God's gift to His finite children... the closest we come to the infinite this side of Glory.  When we read to our children, we give them the gift of that infinite imagination.  They become kings and queens who fight the dragons and conquer that which is evil in their world.  They do not think twice when beavers talk or trees walk or bunnies live in a tree with art on the wall and a blankie keeping them warm.

Reading to children as I did, from the crib until they preferred getting away alone and absorbing their latest literary love (sob!), lays a foundation of imagination.  For I have found people who read often have the best vocabulary and the most amazing ideas.  Their brains have had a good foundation of being stretched beyond all that is in this finite world to beyond the stars.

When we read together as a family, a mutual world is experienced.  A vocabulary comes alive.  Used as adults and well understood.  Sometimes only within the family.  Often within the Fellowship of the Book.  Otherwise known as... our Bookish friends.

For you see, Bookish people love their equally Bookish friends.  We come together from the get-go with a common background of shared literary words, and places we have visited between the pages of a book, and people we have come to cherish from reading their words over and over, and animals we quote, and the wonder of... Story.

I think back on a quite wonderful day when we were visiting New England.  That particular visit happened to overlap with a visit from one of my very favorite people, Sarah Clarkson.  When asked if I minded that Sarah would be there the first two days of our visit, I think my response was something like, "Are you kidding?".

One morning Stephanie, Sarah, and I set out to the cutest village to take Faith to her weekly dancing lessons.  We waited for her nearby at a coffee shop and chatted until my granddaughter was finished with her class.  I can't recall which came first... the walk in the park with the Autumnal leaves falling around us or the visit to the dusty used bookstore.  The one in which we had to peruse every aisle.

It was the kind of day we Bookish people experience a few times when all came together to create magic... Autumn in New England, coffee, books, and the fellowship of friends.  A couple of years later, I opened the book I had been reading during that visit and out fluttered pressed Autumn leaves to the floor.  Serendipity!  Beauty!  Memories.  :)

Having a boy in mid-life introduced me to books I never otherwise would have read.  Books about pirates and ships and knights and being brave.  Stories of French swordsmen and the rather unusual world of graphic novels.  Books that stretched my world in a different way than my girlish preferences.

I have told you before about a picture frame that sits on a table in our bedroom.  The very frame that was sitting at our place during the meal at Stephanie's wedding.  We have it to remember that day and her childhood.  For in that frame are the words from the book her father read to her over and over and over (sigh... and yet over again) as a small child.

Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Goodnight cow jumping over
the moon
Goodnight light
And the red balloon
Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
And goodnight mittens
Goodnight clocks
And goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
And goodnight mouse
Goodnight comb
And goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
And goodnight to the old lady
whispering "hush"
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere.*

Oh, my... did that bring tears to our eyes.  At Christopher's wedding reception, he chose the words to a song instead.  A song for the dance of the groom and his mother.  Those words were from one of my favorite songs, the one by Garth Brooks called The Dance.  I had to sit down before the end of the dance... sobbing.

"Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
but I'd have had to miss...  the dance." 

For how quickly the passage of time had flown by to reach that day.  There isn't much time to form the bonds that is a family and those with friends.  Life is but a mist, a breath! But I'm thankful God gave us a way.  His Book.  The books written by His creation.  Words.  The Word.

*Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

10 comments:

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Bookish and Tookish! I love it....My family is also bookish and I count it as one of the greatest blessings!

Rosie said...

Just coming by to say hi, and let you know, that even though I never comment, I do so love all your posts :) ox

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Beautiful post... loved your bookish turns of phrases and the thoughtful message.

Brenda L.

Joyce Fodor said...

Love this post. I, too, am "bookish" There are many of you know. Many of them are like best friends. We stay together. I agree that the best book of all is His book. Therein lies the promise of life eternal. What more could we ask?

Mary said...

Wow, that really touched me. Thank you, Brenda ;***)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I can So relate! We are a bookish family, as well. I have fond memories of reading to my children and one of my favorite photos is of my daughter reading to her little brother when they were small. Now that they are long grown up, we occaisionally pass around books we have read or at least give one another books as gifts. I like how you mention the best of all Books! The most important Book! Without which, we would be lost....
Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
Blessings,
Laura C. (WA)

Anonymous said...

Aren't books just the best things? I told hubby just the other day that I would much rather read a book than watch a movie. We both love books, as does our son and DIL. Now our 8 year old granddaughter loves to read. Think it's in the genes?! And yes, the Book of Books, should always be first and foremost in our reading for truth, instruction, wisdom, teaching, correction and to light the Way. Thanks, Brenda for your good words. Blessings, Sharon D.

Deanna Rabe said...

Bookish, indeed! (And a tendency toward Tookishness as well!)

I love this as we, too have our favorite books, and quotes as a family. I love how your kids did the special book and lyrics that were so special and meaningful to your family. This is real riches.

Deanna

Karen Andreola said...

Your words are uplifting and touching. Thank you.

"Wear the old coat, buy the new book," Benjamin Franklin said - and as a young mother I couldn't forget it. In the back of mind, in the early days of my Christian walk and the early days of home teaching, I felt reading to be a "spiritual" occupation. And, the "mutual" aspect of reading aloud makes it - in the words of Edith Schaeffer, "the most together thing we can do."

Reading surely does, as you beautifully stated, "stretch our minds beyond all that is in this finite world to beyond the stars."

We are on the same page. Karen A.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, yes. "Goodnight Moon" is/has been a favorite and read over and over again. This post brought tears to my eyes as my daughter sat beside me as I read the words to her. We laughed and she said she now reads it, over and over and over, to her three year old. Goodnight, Brenda.