Monday, April 18, 2011

Thankful for Molly

I love books! I should confess right up front that I mostly love fiction. I own more books than any other single thing. I am ashamed to admit how many books are sitting on the "to read" shelf in my closet. And yet...I still can't go into the Half-Price Book Store and come out without an armload of books. I'm a little more conservative at the local Barnes and Noble, but it takes vast amount of will power for me to walk out empty-handed.

I have had to do some serious weeding through my bookshelves in recent years. We still have our house on the market and hiring a moving van just for my books seems a little extravagant. So the books that remain are those I treasure; the ones I know I will read again and again.

I am reading one of those books now - for the third time. I spent hours yesterday in a little English country village losing myself in the story of a young girl who, even in my dotage, has become a favorite heroine. Her name is Molly Gibson. Her story is written with beautiful elegance by Elizabeth Gaskell in the book "Wives and Daughters."

When I finally grow up, I want to be just a little bit like Molly. Here is just a little taste:

"Molly was dejected, she knew not why. Cynthia had drifted a little apart; that was not it. Her stepmother had whimsical moods; and if Cynthia displeased her, she would oppress Molly with small kindnesses and pseudo-affection. Or else everything was wrong, the world was out of joint,and Molly had failed in her mission to set it right, and was to be blamed accordingly. But Molly was of too steady a disposition to be much moved by the changeableness of an unreasonable person."

Oh to be of such steady character. I am all too easily influenced by the attitudes of those around me. It is easy to be sweet and kind when all is going well. If that sweetness and kindness isn't returned or appreciated, it is another matter altogether.

All of that to say I am thankful for good books - ones that are so beautifully written they take you to another time and place, all the while edifying and uplifting. I have no patience any more for books that make me squirm uncomfortably. I suppose that's why I more often than not find myself carried back to the 19th century.

I am thankful

165 - for Mrs. Gaskell and Molly
166 - crisp, clear spring days
167 - hummingbirds who have returned, entertaining us with their antics
168 - doves cooing
169 - answered prayer for a friend
170 - beautiful black and yellow butterfly
171 - chamomile tea before bed
172 - car - all repaired and looking like new
173 - calves frolicking
174 - horses playing in the fields
175 - smell of newly cut grass
176 - little pink roses
177 - time to sit in the sun room and read - the room filled with spring breezes and birdsong
178 - a letter from a new friend
179 - working outside - getting it done one small step at a time
180 - another drought, but knowing that He is faithful
181 - finding just the right outfit for the wedding
182 - the ministry of a smile

linking to Ann's Gratitude Community