“This is Now”

We finished Little House in the Big Woods tonight! Even though the pages were dwindling down, I wasn’t prepared for it. Luckily Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn’t leave us hanging and there are 8 more books to come. I highly doubt we’ll make it through 8 more, but Alex made me go and grab Little House on the Prairie (my favorite of the series!) and get started. And for those who know my son, and how sick he gets of me taking photos, I will say he requested this picture to be taken. “We need to put this in my scrapbook photo album. We finished this BIG book!!!”

The last two pages were pretty stunning, though….Pa is playing the girls to sleep on his fiddle and goes into a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”. Laura, like me, inquires, “What are the days of auld lang syne, Pa?” And frankly, I was really glad she asked that, because I knew Alex would as well and I’d be fumbling for a clear answer.

Pa answers, “They are the days of a long time ago, Laura.” And then promptly tells her to “Go to sleep, now.”

But, Laura’s thoughts and reflections hit me tonight as the book closed. Here is the text:

“But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, ‘This is now.’

She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”

I mean, REALLY, Laura….PREACH IT! “This is now.” All of those pieces that made that moment special were “now”. They could not be forgotten “because now is now.”

How often we try and be in “a long time ago” or in the future. But for all of Laura’s antics and unpolished, childlike ways, she got it. The lesson….that “this is now.” Now is to be savored. Lived in. Experienced.

Little did she know that her life was about to be uprooted. They would be packing up their things….not into a UHAUL, but a covered wagon. Good Lord, those pioneers were hearty folks! But, she would have to say goodbye to the “little house in the big woods”, her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. To the woods she used to run through and explore. To her bed. To the familiar. And lean into something new.

But before that page was turned, before that new reality was to hit, she took in this lesson—that THIS IS NOW.

So, Laura Ingalls, I’ll try to savor my rest tonight, my bed tonight, the here and now of my family, my job and the students I work with…..and instead of worrying and planning and living in the not yet, attempt to inhabit the NOW.

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