Saturday, December 5, 2015

It was a day a duck could love ... celebrating stories you can wear your whole life!

I was led (by Maria Papova who maintains the blog Brainpickings) to read the beautifully written and illustrated children's book Open House for Butterflies. The partnership between author Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak has left the world of readers with many blessed reads and pictures. Open House for Butterflies was my first adventure with them, and they have long gone to the other side of the veils. 

Maria Papova writes in her essay on Brainpickings "[...]Open House for Butterflies is absolutely wonderful in its entirety, an epitome of the Krauss-Sendak magic that nurtured generations of children to blossom into creative, thoughtful, just-the-right-amount-of-irreverent adults."

Not SO long ago in this place at the edge of woods growing with Tall Trees and opportunistic berry bushes a sad and soggy heart was feeling very sorry for herself. Too far from her used-to-be- home where white, sandy beaches gathered up the ocean and let it out again, and again that sad and soggy heart was making it very difficult to be right where she was.

How can you long for white sandy beaches and used-to-be delight when the day of your truly now was a day ducks love. Well, of course, it would be possible ducks might love white sandy beaches but in that moment when Story was putting itself together to spill itself the clues were unwrapping. Unwrapping like presents in Santa's sleigh or Saint Nicholas's red pack. The clues began with a lost safety pin lying on the floor near by post office box. Perhaps it was the angle at which I carried my head, downcast and sad, that made it possible. Accidental or serendipitous. I think it both.

A safety pin (that exact pin picture above) was left. Lost? And, it might have been swept up by the cleaning woman later that day, tossed into the trash, or if she was also meant to use it ... that might have been okay as well. But instead, the pin above gave cause for the sad and sodden heart to remember joyful thoughts, silly friendships, odd cobblings of this and that. Influenced by the love of safety pins her mother had for the practicality of pins.

Today is one of those days that ducks love. That same heart, predisposed if given too much rope, will turn sad and sodden if not for the clues that simply won't let her stay gloomy another moment. A memory and those Invisibles make her put that Creamsicle hoodie on. What's that clatter? A small tinny clatter. Oh that! A butterfly was gifted not long ago on a day when a Border Witch with tendencies of a sad and sodden heart went for a ride with a Silver Haired Raven in search of a new red hat. They, the Border Witch and Silver Haired Raven found first a seat at a window in a cafe ... oh a window seat in a cafe is a very nice way to start an adventure. When both were filled with warm food and hot drinks they set off walking.

In a store that tells you to GO OUTSIDE the Witch and Raven looked and handled socks and mittens, looking for things to delight, and yes this is the shop where caps are sold. Such conversation ended up filling a few minutes that day. Wild and woolly talk of people and their rights on those islands of white sandy beaches. Oh, the talk was edgy and controversial. But. The shop keeper was savvy and business wise. He knew to keep his customers close and politics on a short string. The Witch found long, warm woolen socks to keep her legs and knees warm on days and nights only ducks love. The Silver Raven chose a bright new red cap to replace the worn and garden-dirty green one.

As a parting token the shop keeper gifted us with two tin pins. A butterfly. A honey bee. That butterfly you see was looking for the company of a safety pin. "Pins never unfit you. You can wear them your whole life." 

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