My theme for the A to Z Challenge is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was the author of the Little House books and there was a television series very loosely based on the books. I began reading the books when I was eleven years old (which even I have a hard time believing is over 40 years ago!). If you would like to read about my feelings about Laura, visit this site. I have also listed helpful sites and blogs in my sidebar if you would like to learn more.
N is for Nature.
Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote a column (long before the Little House books) for The Missouri Ruralist? I thought that I would share one of the articles that she wrote in 1923 because I couldn’t have described the joy of nature as well as she did!
“As a Farm Woman Thinks” (19) by Laura Ingalls Wilder, published in The Missouri Ruralist, April 15, 1923 —
With the birds singing, the trees budding and, “the green grass growing all around,” as we used to sing in school, who would not love the country and prefer farm life to any other? We are glad that so much time can be spent out-of-doors while going about the regular affairs of the day, thus combining pleasure with work and adding good health for full measure.
I have a favorite way of doing this, for I have never lost my childhood’s delight in going after the cows. I still slip away from other things for the sake of the walk thru the pasture, down along the creek and over the hill to the farthest corner where cows are usually found as you can all bear witness.
Bringing home the cows is the childhood memory that oftenest recurs to me. I think it is because the mind of a child is peculiarly attuned to the beauties of nature and the voices of the wildwood and the impression they made was deep.
“To him who, in the love of nature, holds community with her visible forms, she speaks a various language, you know. And I am sure old Mother Nature talked to me in all the languages she knew when, as a child, I loitered along the cow paths, forgetful of milking time and stern parents waiting, while I gathered wild flowers, waded in the creek, watched the squirrels hastening to their home in the tree tops and listened to the sleepy twitterings of birds.
Wild strawberries grew in grassy nooks in spring time. The wild plum thickets, along the creek yielded their fruit about the time of the first frost, in the fall. And all the time between there were ever varied, never failing delights along the cow paths of the old pasture. Many a time, instead of me finding the cows they, on their journey home unurged, found me and took me home with them.
The voices of nature do not speak so plainly to us as we grow older, but I think it is because, in our busy lives, we neglect her until we grow out of sympathy. Our ears and eyes grow dull and beauties are lost to us that we should still enjoy.
Life was not intended to be simply a round of work, not matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment’s pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is soul satisfying, while a bird’s song will set the steps to music all day long.
|My daughter and I walking the trail from Rocky Ridge farmhouse to the Rock House.
**Join me and many other Laura fans at LauraPalooza 2012 (the
second-ever Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference), which will be held July
12-14, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. For more information visit Beyond Little House and look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. The pull down menu will have all of the information that you are looking for!**