Sometimes we love and daydream about things that seem
inherently a part of us, things that we can't stop thinking about.
For me, one of those things is the simple beauty
I dream of everyday as I imagine what it would be like to live on a
rolling prairie, the high grasses leaning and shimmering the wind, a flowing
creek running nearby that I read by and run around in barefoot during
Summer, and the whole world wrapped up in one huge sky above, no
end to the prairie or the petite white flowers dotting it in sight.
That isn't the only place I dream of living. I love the land
and God's creation so much that nearly every realm of it fascinates
me and is the stuff of my dreams and daydreams, but I do have such
a great love for that type of country living. That love is
partly inspired by the joy I have in getting lost in that type of place
in the eloquent pages of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books.
Although I am just getting a chance to write here about it,
this past weekend was Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday, what would
have been her 148th.
She lived to be 90 years old, but I wish she would have lived much
longer so I could have met her. Realizing it was her birthday
the other day made me think about just how much she has influenced
and does influence my thoughts, my life, my dreams.
inspired a love for the Pioneer era in which she grew up (as
well as the history, beautiful antiquities of it, and for the simpler
times of that era- the more personal, old-fashioned way things
were), captivated me with the lands she describes growing up on
in her books, encouraged me in values and morals in the honorable
person she was brought up to be and was, given me the delight
of getting lost in her pages and feeling like I'm right there by the hearth
with Laura and her family, and ultimately inspired my heart in
my goals through her life as a daughter, mother, teacher,
Girls who have read her books for well over half a century
now have been privileged to get to know her if only through her books
and to, as I have, read of the characters within her books like
Laura herself and like Caroline Ingalls, whose upstanding goodness
left a mark on us that made us want to follow that lead in the
people we chose to become.
Her life as a writer is especially interesting and inspiring to me.
Her ability to use the colorful, expressive, lyrically lovely words
to paint stories on her pages that make her childhood world come
to life in ways that translate through the generations is amazing.
It is most captivating to me that her writing possesses
a quality of old-fashioned charm and sweet nostalgia for the fact
that she had the gift of being able to share her own memories
in each of her books. It is so beautiful to me that I can read any
of her books today and feel the fullness of her memories resulting, full of
her precious and deep look back to days gone by as they come through
on the page.
I am so thankful for the impact Laura Ingalls Wilder has had
on my life in more ways than I probably know. I am so happy that her
legacy is left behind her through her books and owe to her
the direction of much of my dreaming heart and even a part of the
old soul inside me that yearns sometimes for the charm and simple
realness of an era long ago... on a prairie somewhere.
If I could write a letter to her now, I would
thank her for that... and for the example she still is, even
decades after she passed, of having character of intelligence
and grace, and valuing the pure and true
things of life.