Summer time came way too late in my neck of the woods this year. It’s been an odd year weather-wise and personally, as well as across my country,Â a bit of a bitter-sweet time of life.
When things get like this, for me there is nothing better than taking a trip back in time to simpler days, kinder times, and gentler people via a good old-fashioned book.
For my “adventures” this time around, I choose the series of books by “Miss Read”.Â I’m currently reading
Village Diary (The Fairacre Series #2).
Miss Read (1913-2012) was the pseudonym of Mrs. Dora Saint, a former schoolteacher beloved for her novels of English rural life, especially those set in the fictional villages of Thrush Green and Fairacre.
While reading this evening, a few paragraphs just begged to be shared. These paragraphs share how children amused themselves back in they days of innocence and hard work. How mother nature amused, taught and delighted both child and adult.
I’m going to share those paragraphs in hopes others may enjoy this sweet journey back in time to the goodness of nature.
“How lucky country children are in these natural delights that be ready to their hand! Every season and every plant offers changing joys. As they meander along the lane that leads to our school all kinds of natural toys present themselves for their diversion.
The seedpods of stitchwort hang ready for delightful popping between thumb and finger. Later the bladder campion offers a larger, if less crisp, globe to burst. In the autumn, acorns, beechnuts and conkers bedizen their path, with all their manifold possibilities of fun.
In the summer time, there is an assortment of honeys to be sucked from bindweed flowers, held fragile and fragrant to the hungry lips, and the tiny funnels of honeysuckle and clover blossoms to taste.Â Outside the Post Office grow three fine lime trees, murmurous with bees on summer afternoons, and these supply wide, soft young leaves in May, which the children spread over their opened mouths and, inhaling sharply, burst with a pleasant and satisfying explosion.
At about the same time of year the young hawthorn leaves are found good to eat. ‘Bread and cheese’ some call them. While the crisp sweet stalks of primroses form another delicacy, with the added delight of the thread like inner stalk which pulls out from the hairier outer sheath.
The summer time brings flower games, the heads and red satin skirts made from the turned-back petals. ‘He loves me, he don’t’ counted solemnly as the daisy petals flutter down, and ‘Bunny’s mouth’ made by pressing the sides of the yellow toadflax flowers which scramble over our chalky Fairacre banks.
And always, whatever the season, there is a flat ribbon of grass blade to be found which, when held between thumbs and blown upon, can emit the most hideous and ear-splitting screech, calculated to fray the nerves of any grownup, and warm the heart of any child within earshot.”
On so on it goes. Imagine living in such times, when nature was all that was needed to amuse and delight. When people treated each other with respect and kindness. When the body was far more than a mere sex object…
It sounds so wonderful.