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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Finding something NEW in something OLD

A Listening Discovery

by Kitty Griffin

I've fallen in love with listening to stories. My new subscription to Audible is one of the nicest gifts I've given myself.

I listen while I drive.
I listen while I garden.
I listen while I work.

And sometimes I find something new in something old.

For instance, let me ask you about a story you've most likely read a long time ago or perhaps had read to you-- The Wind in the Willows. Of course you remember Mole. How he was doing spring cleaning and suddenly got a notion to flee from the work, to burst upon the outside. Feel the joy--

"The sunshine struck hot on his fur, soft breezes caressed his heated brow, and after the seclusion of the cellarage he had lived in so long the carol of happy birds fell on his dulled hearing almost like a shout. Jumping off all is four legs at once, in the joy of living and the delight of spring without its cleaning, he pursued his way across the meadow till he reached the hedge on the further side."

Yes, you know adventure is coming. And friendship, deep, enduring friendship, as the bond Mole forms with Ratty. 

It is the sort of friendship one dreams of. 

But now I'm going to ask you if you remember the environmental aspect of this book. Do you?

If I ask you, do you remember the quiet lesson that Badger taught Mole?

After being rescued from the Wild Wood by Ratty (who strapped on two six-shooters and carried a cudgel when he realized Mole had gone off) they find safety in Badger's hole. And what a place it is. Mole, so excited by the number of rooms and the beauty asks how Badger had time to do it all. Badger explains, he didn't. That once upon a time people had lived in the woods and had built a city, but the city fell to ruin.

Where did the people go? Badger didn't know.
Then what happened?

"When they went," continued the Badger, "the strong winds and persistent rains took the matter in hand, patiently, ceaselessly, year after year. Perhaps we badgers too, in our small way, helped a little--who knows? It was all down, down, down, gradually--ruin and leveling and disappearance. Then it was all up, up, up, gradually, as seeds grew to saplings, and saplings to forest trees, and brambles and fern came creeping in to help. Leaf-mould rose and obliterated, streams in their winter resets brought sand and soil to clog and cover, and in course of time our home was ready for us again, and we moved in.  Up above us, on the surface, the same thing happened. Animals arrived, like the look of the place, took up their quarters, settled down, spread and flourished. They didn't bother themselves about the past--they never do; they're too busy."

What do you think happened to the people?

I was so astonished when I heard this section.

But that's what listening can sometimes do, sometimes it will help you find a new nook, a new cranny. 

I will keep listening, but I don't think I'm going to find out what happened to the people. 
But I'm going to wonder, I'm going to wander through these Willows and feel the Wind and wonder what on earth happened to the people.

And when I finish listening?

I'm going to go buy this book for some young friends of mine so we can read it together.

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