I love Laura Ingalls Wilder. When you read her series of books, you can’t help but feel like your part of her family growing up in and experiencing the pioneer days. All the inventions, the building of new towns, home cooked meals, and even going through the daily struggles, all seem so real. She remembers everything. When you read her words, they are so descriptive. You “feel” the wind and “smell” those prairie flowers and “see” that endless prairie sky.
I read this series not as a child, but later on, when the tv series came out. I guess I was more of a late teen. So, being curious about her stories, I bought the set and read every one. I was totally lost in them, and as I read , felt I was the camera person watching and filming her family experiences on the sidelines. I even bought a book about her biography, and can’t even fathom the fact she was the last one in her immediate family to pass away . She had to see each one of them die before her. How sad that must have been to someone who had such fond and vivid memories. I pray this doesn’t happen to me.
Because of Laura Ingalls Wilder, we now know of her family. The names, their personalities , their friends and even their homes and places they lived. They will always be alive now because of her, and that’s her legacy.
There is one part in her series that has always stayed with me, (besides the very sad part where Jack the dog,dies), and that’s where Laura asks about “Auld Lang Syne” after Pa plays it on the fiddle:
“When the fiddle had stopped playing, Laura called out softly, “What are the days of auld lang syne, Pa?”
“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura.” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”
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 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.”
“Now is now. It can never be a long time ago.” This quote haunts me and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. It seems so sad to me because I feel, or have felt, the same way. Happy times I remember experiencing from my past that I never wanted to end, that’s when I have thought this. But these times do become “days of long ago”, and that’s the sad part. My parents have passed away almost 20 years now, graduations and birthdays have come and gone, and through it all, I kept thinking that these times could never be a long time ago, but they are. It does often make me sad.
I guess the lesson here is to be happy in, and live the most of each day you are given, “now”.
Then we won’t really regret the “long time ago” part.
Thank you Laura for teaching us so much! 🙂 Cheryl
p.s. I will definitely be illustrating a picture of this quote, you can bet on it.