August 02, 2009

As Autumn knocks on the door and of books

Lammas is barely over when Autumn starts knocking on the door. The fruit is ripening and the leaves are starting to change colour
The pheasant berry or Chinese nutmeg has berries showing now alongside the flowers. Soon they will be ripe and leaving purple splashes on the paths.
The elder flowers are gone but the berries are on their way
There are splashes of deep reds in quiet corners of the park
flowers and trees glowing in the sunlight
You can see the start of the autumn colour on these leaves
The conkers or horse chestnuts will soon be the target of eager children wanting to play with them. These are almost big enough already.
Don't they look good enough to start battling with now?
The keys await the winds call to fly
The park is splendidly red for the Lammas festivities.
I wish I could capture these shades of red in my dyeing.
Brambles are ripening nicely, we will soon be able to make crumbles, fools and pies with them.
Going on from my last post on possessions, specifically books.
During my childhood I spent very long periods in hospital and in bed when at home. Books were my escape from this painful reality. They took me to places that were safe. Alice in wonderland, the Faraway Tree, all a place of safety and imagination. Books were and are old friends. They don't just tell a story they take you out of yourself and into some other when and where. Old favourites await your joining them once more, they aren't going anywhere and they would welcome you no matter how long it was between visits. At the age of 10 I graduated to the adult library as I had read everything in the junior one. My nan used to bring half a dozen books at a time to the hospital when visiting. I read all day and all night, there wasn't much else to do when you were bed bound. Schooling in hospital was only a couple of hours a day, the rest I read and read. My nan introduced me to historical fiction and fact at 10 years of age, Jean Plaidy, Howard Spring and of course my (still) favourite Georgette Heyer. Historical novels reminded me of the children's books of fantasy as they weren't here and now but then and there. When not in hospital I visited the library most days of the week, it was a safe haven and the librarians were my friends. They used to recommend books and keep them for me. They didn't think me a nuisance when I followed them round the library asking for more books to read. They used to ask me what I thought of each one and I did a review of what I liked or disliked about them.
Libraries and the copse behind our house were my places. A tree that I could get into to read and dream.
When I grew up I still needed to read whenever I could, my taste widened although fantasy and children's fiction still remain my favourites. books helped me through 2 terrible marriages and kept me sane when I needed an anchor.
I read to my children and encouraged them to read. It is something I am passionate about as you can probably guess:)


STEVEN L. LAYNE
Read to them
   Before the time is gone and stillness fills the room again        
Read to them

What if it were meant to be that you were the one, the only one
Who could unlock the doors and share the magic with them?
What if others have been daunted by scheduling demands,
District objectives, or one hundred other obstacles?

Read to them
Be confident Charlotte has been able to teach them about friendship,
And Horton about self-worth;
Be sure the Skin Horse has been able to deliver his message.

Read to them
Let them meet Tigger, Homer Price, Aslan, and Corduroy;
Take them to Oz, Prydain, and Camazotz;

Show them a Truffula Tree.

Read to them
Laugh with them at Soup and Rob,
And cry with them when the Queen of Terabithia is forever lost;

Allow the Meeker Family to turn loyalty, injustice, and war
Into something much more than a vocabulary lesson.

What if you are the one, the only one, with the chance to do it?
What if this is the critical year for even one child?

Read to them
Before the time, before the chance, is gone.

4 comments:

Aknita said...

It seems awful to be thinking of Autumn already doesn't it Amber. But the leaves of the horsechestnut trees here have been on the turn for some time.

I love to read, and do so at every available opportunity.

laoi gaul~williams said...

i am a huge reader~my dad taught me to read properly so i was ahead of the children in my class. oh the faraway tree! how i loved that.i read in order to embrace my shyness~it meant i didnt have to be social~in fact books are still my shield now~but what better shield than a good book!

enthusiastic crochetoholic said...

My library was so different to yours. When I took books back a day later they used to accuse me of not reading them and time wasting.
I had to take my Mum in with me to prove to them that I was a fast reader and actually did read all the books that I took out. When I ran out of children's books I used to use my mother's ticket and pretend that she couldn't get to the library today so that I could take out books from the adult section.
Later as I got older my gran and my aunties all joined the library just so that I could use their tickets to get more books.

Jean said...

Its still so hot in Southern California and we will have several months more to go before it cools down. It is hard to imagine that somewhere else its already cooling down. I too loved to read as a child. I used to ride my little Pink & white bike with the basket on the front every week to the local library. I could also read adult level books by the 4th grade. It seems to be that books are a wonderful way to escape, I love the feeling of a hardbound book, especially one with thicker pages. Blogs too wonderful. The doll you I bought from you is thriving. She like sitting on the hat the Shaman made for my friend years ago. Its funny because we turn her to face out the window (so that she can see the sky), but she always manages to find us and when we look up she is facing us - quite delightful.