Saturday, October 30, 2021

As long as it lasts

I had been reading The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict to the children in the evenings, which was fine. 

But the chapters are so long.

And the book is so long.

And I'm so tired...

And when I was at the library last week, a book called Blue Mountain caught my eye, so I pulled it off the shelf and was surprised to see it was written by Martine Leavitt! I'm familiar with a lot of what she's written, but evidently haven't kept up with everything because I hadn't heard of this title. Marti, by the way, was my Young Women's president when I know...young! So I checked it out and have been reading that to the kids instead, while The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict languishes beside my reading chair (we'll get to you, Trenton Lee Stewart). 

I admit that I was both surprised (but also somehow not) to find that the main character of this story is a bighorn sheep. I feel like every other story of Marti's that I've read has had human protagonists. But still, I recognize her gentle style of storytelling and it's been excellent for getting the kids calmed down at bedtime.

We're still in the middle of the story so I don't know how it ends, but I did read the author's note about her inspiration for writing the story (her father's field notes) and I loved that! And I love the nuggets of wisdom she's tucked inside the pages. I'm going to share my favourite exchange so far, from the chapter called Winter Valley (pp. 41–42):
Winter had turned the world white and hard...

"How long does winter last?" Mouf asked.
"As long as we can bear it," Dall said.
"How long can I bear it?"
"As long as it lasts."
Mouf is a lamb (maybe old enough to be considered a yearling at this point; I can't remember) and Dall is a ewe, for your reference, and though those lines were perfect for the characters they were given to, I'm not sure it matters who was talking, really. I simply love the idea that a difficult season of life lasts as long as we can bear it and that we'll be able to bear a difficult season for precisely as long as it lasts.

Because we must. 

Because there's no other way out but through. 

And because we're simply always going to be going through something.

1 comment:

  1. I love that, too. One day I will read this book of Marti's!!