Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wisdom from Laura Ingalls Wilder


"Out in the meadow, I picked a wild sunflower, and as I looked into its golden heart, such a wave of homesickness came over me that I almost wept. I wanted Mother, with her gentle voice and quiet firmness; I longed to hear Father's jolly songs and to see his twinkling blue eyes; I was lonesome for the sister with whom I used to play in the meadow picking daisies and wild sunflowers.

Across the years, the old home and its love called to me, and memories of sweet words of counsel came flooding back. I realize that all my life the teachings of those early days have influenced me, and the example set by Father and Mother has been something I have tried to follow, with failures here and there, with rebellion at times; but always coming back to it as the compass needle to the star.

So much depends upon the homemakers. I sometimes wonder if they are so busy now with other things that they are forgetting the importance of this special work...

Because of their importance, we must not neglect our homes in the rapid changes of the present day. For when tests of character come in later years, strength to the good will not come from the modern improvements or amusements few may have enjoyed but from the quiet moments and the 'still small voices' of the old home.

Nothing ever can take the place of this early home influence, and as it does not depend upon externals, it may be in possession of the poor as well as of the rich, a heritage from all fathers and mothers to their children.

The real things of life that are the common possession of us all are of the greatest value - worth far more than motor cars or radios, more than lands or money - and our whole store of these wonderful riches may be revealed to us by such a common, beautiful thing as a wild sunflower."

Long before she penned the timeless "Little House" books, Laura Ingalls Wilder offered timeless wisdom in articles for regional newspapers and magazines. I came across a little volume of them entitled "Writings To Young Women From Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Life As A Pioneer Woman".

As I read her words, written in August 1923, I thought how appropriate they were for us today. That is the way with real wisdom - it really knows no boundaries of time. This articl opens a little window into the family life (a life she would some day share with thousands of devoted readers), of a beloved author. Beloved, by me at least, because she reminds us of those things in life that have real value, and she does it so beautifully.