Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Miss Rumphius

You passed along here, perchance, a fortnight ago, and the hillside was comparatively barren, but now you come and these glorious redeemers appear to have flashed out here all at once. Who planted the seeds of lupines in the barren soil? Who watereth the lupines in the fields? ---Thoreau

I was inspired by Sizzie's blog post this morning about making a difference in the world. It reminded me of a beautiful book I read to my children when they were young, Miss Rumphius. As a girl, Alice Rumphius shares with her grandfather her hopes and dreams. He tells her there is something else she must do: “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.” Alice does not know what that could be, but as the story unfolds she has a wonderful idea that involves planting lupine seeds.

Whether small acts of kindness, a personal project, or being part of a larger, coordinated effort of community or civic volunteering, we should never underestimate the small differences we can make. Over time these can add up to big differences of lasting impact. And it all begins with a giving attitude in our daily lives. It's a wonderful lesson for all of us. I wanted my children not only to learn, but to see in action, the truth that a life without cause is a life without effect.


Barry said...

Not only has the little girl found a way to make the world a more beautiful place, but so have you.

I loved your post!

Lindsey said...

I love all the Read Aloud Handbook references in your blog, Mom. The enjoyment of reading is such a wonderful gift, and it might only be successfully passed on by introducing it to your kids! I'm definitely going to need a copy when I have them, because with reading comes the gift of so many other things: the gift of good memories that resurface when I read your blog, and the gift of knowlegde of course. Not just text book knowledge, but the knowledge of thing like how to make the world a better place. <3

sizzie said...

Miss Rumphius is new to me. I will have to look her up. When one of my children was young enough to be driven to school, we took one route every day. My life seemed very closed in, mundane, boring, stifled...you get the idea. There was one house we passed every day that had a pretty front porch and there was always a decoration on the porch. No matter the month or holiday. The owner changed the decoration often, and without apparent schedule. Driving down that street and watching to see what would be sitting on the front porch became one of the things I looked forward to during that drive. Don't get me wrong, my life was pretty darn good, but the decorator did a small thing that made a big pick me up.

sizzie said...

I looked up Miss Rumphius and like the sound of it. I am ordering a copy. I am glad you mentioned it here. I would not have heard about it otherwise. Thanks!

Peggy Johnstone said...

Good, Sizzie. I'm sure you'll love the story. That's one of my passions, finding children's books that speak just as clearly to adults. Enjoy!