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Posts Tagged ‘Johanna Spyri’

I love the play of  sun and shadows this time of year. My little library where I sit and type and read and ponder is lighter and brighter as the days get shorter and I am apt to appreciate the changing landscape a little more. As I sit here typing, the sun is pouring in, warming my shoulders and dancing about in the shadows it casts of the remaining leaves. Bright and sunny now, this room is dark in summer.   A snowball bush blocks one window and Rose of Sharon the other. I love the cozy feel and the green and white and lavender of flowers that are visited by hummingbirds and sparrows and chipmunks come summer, but, I love this season as well and the new pleasures and beauty it brings.

I bought this watercolor a good many years ago. The gentle old man brought to mind the grandfather in Heidi. Do you remember Heidi called him “the grandfather”? This picture was done by an artist named Joseph Fettingis and it was one of those things in life that called to me to bring it home. In fact, it still does – call to me, that is.

I hope you are as warmed by the beauty about you today.

This morning, so many things were reflecting off the picture, and the grandfather didn’t seem to mind at all. He just kept reading. A steady ol’ soul he is. I appreciated the way the glass on the picture caught the images of another picture from across the room, the window, the shrub, and the leaded glass. It was a tender surprise this autumnal day and brought just a ray of contentment to me.

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Did you ever forget where you got an image? I did with this one, saved in a file for use on a "didgaever" day.

Did you ever write with a twig in the sand – a heart or your name or the name of another?Did you ever draw simple squares on a sidewalk or driveway with a piece of gravel, or a chunk of chalk and play hopscotch with a friend all afternoon? Did you ever watch a storm come in, over a lake or down a highway? Did you ever catch a lightning bug and cup it in your hand, ever-so-tight and then peak in to see if it would light up for you? Did you ever curl up under a tree or in a lawn chair or in front of a fan and read a book you never wanted to end?

One summer I read Heidi by Johanna Spyri. A neighbor had given my sister and me a box of books that her children had read. Heidi was one of the books. I loved the story and the old grandfather and Peter and Peter’s blind grandmother and I cried when Heidi was taken away to live with Clara, though I loved Clara. I remember trying to pace myself – one chapter at a time. I failed. I failed and soon Heidi was done.

I read the two sequels, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi’s Children, though they were written by Spyri’s English translator. They took me through a good part of the summer and they took me to the Alps until I found The Bobbsey Twins. Although I was a little old for them at the time, I didn’t care, and I read and I read until my eyes burned and my grandmother told me to go outside and play. Instead, I found Winnie-the-Pooh, which in my estimation is much more fun to read to oneself than aloud, though I’m not quite sure why, and Treasure Island, which I must read again someday. Our neighbor’s gift was a big magic box to me when summer days seemed so long.

How about you? Did you read books in summer as a child? What did you read? What are you reading now?

When someone says”How do you do,” just say you didn’t. Eeyore

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