It is one of my favorite times of the day.
I sit on the couch and they come. My nightgown clad nine year old swirls in with her twinkly eyes and jumps up next to me, all elbows and knees. She throws her legs over mine and rests her head on my shoulder. With slow steps her lanky teenage brother steadily approaches, eyes hidden by curls, willing to give up computer games to not miss being with us.
The Princess wiggles over, blessing her brother with the rare snuggle with his Mama. She and I are the bread, he is the filling, as we squish our family sandwich together under wool blankets.
I reach into the spot, the treasured place where the current tale lives, pulling out a world in well-worn paper. Laura, Aslan, Alice, Pippi, Curdie... the names are many, the worlds different, the draw the same.
Tonight we journey with Curdie. We have already lived his adventure with girl-princess Irene in The Princess and the Goblin. We are growing with Curdie into a young man as he is challenged in his faith.
'But if you want me to know you again ma'am, for certain sure,' said Curdie, 'could you not give me some sign, or tell me something about you that never changes - or some other way to know you, or thing to know you by?'
'No Curdie; that would be to keep you from knowing me. You must know me in quite another way from that. It would not be the least use to you or me either if I were to make you know me in that way. It would be but to know the sign of me - not to know me myself.'
from The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
The chapter ends, the book closes, I wait for the oft-repeated "Already! But that was so short!"
Tonight it doesn't come, young minds so engrossed with the thread of God woven into the tale. We begin to talk... how George MacDonald's allegory dips into our own stories, how Curdie and Peter drew strength from each other's faith... how we, our little family, do the same.
And Farmer Boy and I take turns knitting a story for The Princess, remembering. He one needle, I the other, we take the yarn of our memories and knit for her when God revealed Himself to us both in the same way, at the same time. The remembering blesses us all. We draw strength from each other's faith.
Our eyes are heavy, limbs stiff, it is time for bed. I pray for each, hands on smooth head, curly head. We each lie down with our thoughts, our prayers, our dreams, so much to hope for... hearts content.
Tomorrow night we will meet on our couch-boat and sail the seas of story again.
So much to be thankful for, always, every day....
51 ~ shelves upon shelves of worlds waiting to be discovered
52 ~ true stories remembered anew for fresh ears
53 ~ letters slowly sounded out while small finger draws paths down words
54 ~ always being young enough to listen to a story read aloud
55 ~ tree felled in a storm years ago becoming the fuel that warms our hearth
56 ~ chicks lost to cold reminding of us of the blessing of the life that remains
57 ~ God's provision even of death-cleaning vultures
58 ~ crockpot that provides a ready hot meal after a day away
59 ~ songs weaving their way throughout our day and our words
60 ~ friend who hears hurt in my voice and prays from her heart
61 ~ new as-yet-unmet friends who welcome my timid writing to their blog homes
62 ~ grace to write when I feel inadequate
63 ~ husband who sees a need and becomes a washing machine repairman
64 ~ grandparents moving so close they see grandkids every few days
65 ~ time to spend in His presence, even when it seems impossible
66 ~ woolen hand-knit blankets
67 ~ building Jericho with blocks and marching and shouting and crashing
68 ~ falling asleep on the couch in the wee dark hours with my bible on my lap, chasing away anxiety-insomnia with God-laced dreams
69 ~ persistence, insistence, never-giving-up of faithful prayers for lost loved ones
70 ~ my children's father, my love, our warrior-protector
Joining the multitudes remembering their multitudes....