I grew up being fed imagination. Living illustrations that jumped off the pages of children's books, storytelling festivals, spontaneous spoken bedtime tales and animated reading circles make it in my bank of favorite childhood memories. Perhaps it was my mom's background in speech pathology - her gift of inspiring kids to which language didn't come easily - or her years with us as a creative, hands-on mother that sparked a lifelong interest in children's literature. Her collection fills multiple bookcases past brimming, and she's always got just the right pick to match the age group she'll be volunteer storytelling for next.
Every once in a while, she passes along a young adult read and I happily accept, because they're usually fast, fun, refreshing and light. Not as bogged down with the heaviness of adult life stuff and sometimes written from the perspective of a child - still filled with inherent excitement, freedom, curiosity and zest. The most recent was a children's novel that became wildly popular in the early 1900s called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. While the living and language differed greatly from my usual reading tastes, gems popped from the pages when I least expected. A common strand in almost every creation I come across (whether my cup of tea or not), is insightful gems that meet me where I'm at, integrate with my spirit and bring me closer to who I am.
When I skimmed across certain phrases in Wiggin's book, my heart paused. My initial impression was that this wisdom was far before its time. Then I realized, it was right on time. A beautiful confirmation that in every time period, humans have uniquely expressed common truths. Here are a few (followed by personal interpretations)!
"So soon does the soul outgrow its mansions . . ." - We are ever growing and evolving. As we expand, so do our desires.
"water always finds its level some way" - When we're true to our nature, everything works out and aligns perfectly.
". . . no talent is wholly wasted unless its owner chooses to hide it under a napkin. Remember that of your own gifts . . . they may not be praised . . . but they may cheer, console, inspire, perhaps when and where you least expect. The brimming glass that overflows its own rim moistens the earth about it." - You are too brilliant to hide. Act like no one's watching and always know that they are. Share your gifts. They matter. When we celebrate our gifts, the whole world becomes a beneficiary.