The Velveteen Rabbit

I made brief mention of The Velveteen Rabbit in a previous post. There, I gave you the following quote:

From The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams:

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

As mentioned before, this is one of my all time favorites. Right up there with The Wind in the Willows, Small Pig, Charlotte’s Web, and the list goes on. I don’t mentionĀ The Hobbit, because of course! That’s got to be the most important book to me as a child. So it probably deserves its own post someday. What children’s books am I missing? Which made the biggest impact on you?

After I made that post, I made a serendipitous find. A velveteen rabbit pendant! Ohmygoshohmygosh I had to have it. So I bought it.

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It’s perfect, and I’m wearing it right now. It’s such a sweet little reminder of the joys and sorrows of life and love and belonging. What it means to age gracefully in the company of loved ones. A reminder to embrace our “flaws” and appreciate them for demonstrating the character we’ve earned through the struggles and joys and myriad experiences of life. Embrace them. They’re visual reminders, signposts, of what made us who we are, in the end.

As for The Velveteen Rabbit, you may read the story here. But I encourage you to purchase your own copy, particularly if there are any children in your life that need to be introduced to it. My copy was stolen long ago. One of these days, I’m gonna buy a supernice one. Just for me. Because. Well because maybe I deserve it.

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Potent Quotables

The tone of my latest posts has been rather dark. I would like to follow up by simply letting the words of others far worthier than I speak for themselves. I believe they will be equally touching to you as they are and have been to me. Again, some timely words of wisdom and insight.

From The Velveteen Rabbit, written by Margery Williams:

He said, “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Those words are from one of my all time favorite stories. Reading such passages as an adult reminds me of its importance and purpose in my life. (This also makes me consider doing little segments on my favorite children’s books. I’m a sucker for children’s books and stories. Hmm. Yes. I think I’ll do that. Don’t let me forget, friends! – Speaking of which, I need something to call my friends here. “Readers” sounds lame. “My dears” sounds icky and ancient and like I’m about to make doilies for you. Anyway. Damn, can I digress.)

Next up is this beauty from Wendell Berry. It’s called “The Peace of Wild Things.”

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Isn’t that lovely? It makes me smile and sigh and weep and ponder. And it reminds me of how I feel when I commune with nature. It makes me feel whole and alive and part of something precious and magnificent. And that makes me feel simultaneously small and important.

So I will make time, this weekend. I will make time to commune with nature. Even if it’s just in my back yard with The Veggie Patch. My soul yearns for the outdoors. I would be wise to heed its call.