Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday At Home - The Little House

When I was a child, the picture book The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton was one of my very favorite stories. Have you read it? In it, the little house sits on a beautiful hill way out in the country, with farm fields and orchards on the rolling hills nearby. By that description, it seems that I grew up and moved to the Little House from the story, though my house is not painted pink.

In the story, perhaps you remember, the Little House is curious about the far off city (a curiosity I sometimes share!) Well, as time goes by (with urban sprawl and that sort of thing) the city encompasses the little house, shutting off the sight of the moon and the changing seasons. The author tells us that the Little House did not know whether she liked living in the city. “She missed the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight.”

Spoiler alert (*grin*)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ultimately, the descendant of some former resident of the Little House sees the house in the city and recognizes it, despite a desperate state of disrepair. In perfect storybook fashion, the problem is simply and neatly solved. The Little House is moved out of the city, to a gentle hill in the quiet countryside. “Finally they saw a little hill in the middle of a field… and apple trees growing around.”

A blissful scene closes the story:

“The stars winkled above her… A new moon was coming up… It was Spring… and all was quiet and peaceful in the country.”

Did I love this story as a child because the appreciation for this simple country life already existed in me, as an intrinsic facet of my nature? Or did the story I so loved influence me subtly, infusing my choices with story-book magic, stirring within me this peaceful appreciation of the seasons and the beauty of our earth.

8 comments:

Pom Pom said...

I love that story, too. Our hearts love the seasons, nature, simplicity, but some can find the same agreements in the city. My souls soars when I see the beauty of my rural environment in Washington, but as you can see from my walks, even in metropolitan Denver,there are glimpses of serenity. I love "visiting" your quiet country house, Aisling.

Aisling said...

I have not lived in a city, but have, in my visits to various cities, found beauty (natural and manmade) in the architecture, the parks, the museums, the street musicians, the human faces. So I agree with you!

I love your visits, and love returning them as well! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Cloudhands said...

I hadn't thought of that story since you were a child, but your discription brought back the pictures to my mind and it was a fun step back in time. My favorite story book will always be Attic of the Wind. Wonder if I could find it anywhere. I think I'll go look.

Aisling said...

Mom, I have the beat-up remains of Attic of the Wind here. That is a beautiful story; so poetic!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Aisling, is that book still available? I love the story of it, and I live in a little house out in the country. The urban still sprawls in OK, but it hasn't caught up here yet.~~Dee

Aisling said...

Dee, Here is a link to it "new and used" at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Board-Book/dp/0547131046/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250607994&sr=1-2

I meant to add pictures to this post, but never got around to taking them! :)

linda said...

dear aisling, such a lovely story I do remember from somewhere long ago...perhaps my children loving it too rather than myself, I am not sure...anyway, thank you for the telling of it again...when I was young, I dreamed of living on a cattle ranch, well, ranch was all I wanted as long as there were horses and guess what?!

the old adage, be careful what you wish for OR wish as much as your heart desires :)
xoxo

Aisling said...

Linda, I love it when dreams come true. :)