Sunday, April 10, 2011

Booking It: Mother Carey's Chickens

Despite my best intentions, I've had a hard time sticking to my original reading plan for this year. To tell the truth, I'm still working on The Happiness Project which was on the top of my list. It has been a great book, but it has made me feel as if I should add so many more things to my to-do list. Given the impending change in my life, the book has made me feel a bit overwhelmed by all that I need to do. And so, I keep renewing it at the library. I hope to finish it sometime this month.

However, I have been reading...just not anything off of my original list. In fact, I've been reading so much that I've neglected blogging! As part of my ten-day anniversary celebration, my husband gifted me with an Amazon Kindle. When I originally heard about the Kindle, I scoffed at the idea. I like a good ol' fashioned book. However, as I've contemplated moving and looked at the overflowing bookshelves that we'll have to pack up and move, I've come to understand the beauty of a Kindle. It can hold up to 3,500 books on one teeny, tiny device...AND I can download so many classic books for FREE.

The first book that I downloaded for my Kindle was Mother Carey's Chickens by Kate Douglas Wiggin. As a child, I loved the movie Summer Magic which was based on this book. For years, I searched in vain for a copy. Our library didn't carry it, and I couldn't find it in print online. There was a free pdf version available online, but I really didn't want to sit at a computer to read a book. So, it just remained on my to-read list. I was ecstatic to find the free Kindle version. (I also discovered that there are now print versions available here and here.)

Oh, my! Like many books that have been turned into movies, Mother Carey's Chickens was sooooooo much better than the film. Don't let the title fool you. It's not about some old farm lady and her chickens. Rather, it's the story of the ficticious Carey Family who start their lives over in a small country town after the untimely death of Mr. Carey forces them to economize and live on a severly reduced income. I was inspired by Mrs. Carey -- she is pretty much the epitome of a loving and caring woman who not only strives to raise five children on her own but who demonstrates kindness and hospitality to everyone she encounters. Although I know she is only character in a book, I found myself wanting to be more like her.

I also found myself being encouraged in my own life circumstances by a poem referred to in Chapter 32. Now, I am not a great lover of poetry; however, I found myself looking up "Doors of Daring," a poem by Henry van Dyke. It's a poem about taking risks and living life to the fullest despite the challenges that come our way. One line in particular was an inspiration to the Carey children and it is to me as well,
          "And all the bars at which we fret,
          That seem to prison and control,
          Are but the doors of daring, set
          Ajar before the soul."
As I look to my family's future that most likely includes a career change, a cross-country move, and reduced finanical circumstances, I am tempted to worry and allow them to control me. Rather, I need to look at these changes as an adventurous challenge that I can and will overcome and hopefully be a better person for having done so.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

This is a beautiful post Janel! I'm so glad you found something to encourage you. :)