The Little House series, from Laura Ingalls Wilder, is one of the most memorable bookish experiences in my life. My dad read us the books, and I still vividly recall listening to the story as it came to life…
And, this quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder perfectly captures the essence of what we learn.
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and have courage when things go wrong.”
With all the moving we did when I was a kid, Laura’s adventures from the Wisconsin woods, to the Kansas prairie, to Minnesota, and on to the Dakota territory–all of it seemed to put my life into perspective.
There’s so much more to her life and story than I could possibly hope to touch upon in so short a piece. But, Laura (and her wonderful stories) are volumes that are forever imprinted on my memories.
- Laura faced hardships that no sane human being would welcome, but they didn’t give up: “she wanted to hang on there, not be pushed back.”
- She told her story, but told it “slant”… adjusting details to make it into the story we know and love.
- She also started in Wisconsin (where I grew up), but traveled Out West in a covered wagon (we moved to California in a broken-down station wagon).
- Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of those women writer with whom I’d have loved to sit down for a chat over coffee or tea (or whatever). She had such a wonderful story to tell!
- A curious thing too… Laura’s daughter, Rose, both encouraged her writing and told the same stories in Let the Hurricane Roar (1932) and Free Land (1938). It was a family affair, but there’s also some authorship controversy and debate.
When it comes to writing, and life, we all could use a good bit of that pioneering spirit, the ability to push beyond the realm we know and understand to explore the frontiers of the imagination. What new territory will you explore–through writing (and reading)? After all, we are writing the story of our lives (even if it’s by saying/writing nothing at all).