Our granddaughter was at our house today and we were playing “library.”
Basically she gets several books off the shelves, displays them throughout the room, and my husband and I can then peruse the books and choose some to “check out.”
Inevitably she gets some out that we have neglected to look at in quite some time, so we end up scanning through a book or two, to the great distress of the librarian who wants us to keep looking so she can have as many “checkouts” as possible. She tries her best to keep us on track.
Today’s book that caught my eye was Southern Seasons, an illustrated cookbook by Robert St. John and the immensely talented watercolor artist Wyatt Waters.
(Let me interrupt this tale for a moment and say, if you have never seen this book, you should find access to one as soon as possible. It has amazing recipes and the artwork is stunning.)
As I was flipping through, I found this painting, which stopped me in my tracks.
It is, of course, from To Kill a Mockingbird. The caption is as follows:
This brings back so many memories and so many deep-seated thoughts about this amazing book, and my reactions to reading it, and watching the movie, and just a general nostalgia for a simpler time.
Not a period of time without its own troubles, but certainly somewhat less corrupted than today’s world. A place in time and space where time was slower and people knew each other a little more personally.
As with everything these days, that point could be argued, but it was that way for me, and it remains that way in my mind.
And as for how this relates to today, we happen to have a tree in our backyard where we sometimes hide things for Madison or our grandsons to find. Just today she could have found this there, if it hadn’t been raining too hard.
I have tried to tell her about this part of the story, and she sort of gets it. At least she gets excited looking for what is in the tree.
One day she will be old enough to read the book, and make her own connections to it.
But for now, this art helped me explain to her the reason why finding a treasure in a hole in a tree can be a mysterious serendipity, every time.