Old Book, Old Friend

Expecting dry wall and paint repair in several rooms of the house has made it necessary to clear off shelves to make it easier to move them.  This reminds me I have too many books.  I do have a stack sorted to donate to the library.  Then there are those books I reach for and begin to smile, sit down, and start reading.  Of course that doesn’t get the clearing and cleaning done, but how dear it is to have those old friends that beg to be enjoyed once more.  A book I found today is in yet another category.  It has been mine for many years, given to me by my mother who enjoyed it when she was a child.  Its fabric cover is worn and stained.  There are childish scribbles of names (Mother and her brothers) and notes, its binding is separated from the spine.  Published in 1912, it is nearly 100 years old, so showing its age is not surprising.  The Plant Baby and Its Friends,written by Kate Louise Brown, is subtitled A Nature Reader for Primary Grades. It always intrigues me with its line drawings, stories, and poems about plants and their parts.  But I love the verse which begins its preface.

O Nature! Loving Nature!

The mother-side of God,

We see thy faithful tending

Where’er our feet have trod.

There’s mystery in every seed,

And glory in the flower;

The meanest grassblade speaks of thee,

Thy tenderness and power.

So we go on, not knowing,

Thy glory veils our sight.

The child-heart and the child’s deep faith

Will guide the soul aright.

This book will go back on the shelf.  I think my granddaughters will enjoy it as much as they do pressing flowers and watching caterpillars on the parsley get ready to be butterflies.

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