Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Grub, The Bush Baby... and other old friends

It was pretty hot around here today and Jesse, Colin and Heather were languishing around, looking sort of half melted and in need of distraction. I decided to tackle some boxes filled with books that needed sorting. These are books that we packed during the summer of 2006. I opened the dusty cardboard tops and oooooooh....

It was like I was seeing dear old friends. I pulled out Cry, the Beloved Country-- a book I wept my way through. I found the first edition of Out of Africa that my sister gave me for my birthday just a few years ago and I remembered sneaking onto the premises of the Karen Blixen museum years and years ago when it wasn't yet open. We sat on the stone benches round the back and quoted beautiful passages from the book. This was prior to the film and, believe me, the book is MUCH better.

I smiled at books that touched me in different ways, and wondered a little quizzically at why others had been hauled all over the globe with me when I'm sure I've never even opened them. (Those were very few, mind you.)

My heat-weary off-spring slowly came to life. Each one found a treasure and soon they were pouring over pages as they sat together on the sofa in the corner of the living room. I was especially happy to see Heather giggling at Grub, the Bush Baby, a picture book made by Jane Goodall and her then-husband about their little boy as they camped and studied in game parks here in Tanzania. My boys spent hours with that book. Nice to see Heather getting to know that old friend.

I confess to a deep love of bound-together pages. I know I have far too many of them, especially for someone who makes major global transitions. I will have to cull this library.

But not today.

6 comments:

Justin said...

I completely share your love for 'bound together pages'...I have a ridiculous amount of books that I am going to have to go through as I am making a new commitment to traveling light through life. It' s going to be tough! But I loved the picture orf seeing your kids looking through the books that have brought you life yourself. Unfortunately I don't see Maisie one day puring through 'The Forgotten Ways' or 'Generous Orthodoxy' but who knows!

lisa said...

Ah, but you never know. Jesse has been reading my copy of The Forgotten Ways this break. But today he was enjoying the Field Guide to African Mammals :-)

lisa said...

But then, Jesse does have about 20 years on Maisie!

Anonymous said...

Lisa have you read the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver? It is very beautifully written (although sad, like most books about Africa).

I am like you - my books are the one thing I will never want to part with.

:-) Nina

lisa said...

Nina, I started it and then left it on a plane one time... Too bad! I'll have to borrow it from someone around here.

gypsymelodies said...

Oh, books are our old friends... it's so true. i wept through Cry, the Beloved Country too. Wow. Tell that family of yours hello for me. Brad told me you sent him pictures today:)