Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sail the Sea, or Sail the Sky

Obviously my appreciation for children's literature is splashed across the screen more often than you care to read. But there is just something about the memories I have of my childhood that brings outbursts of delight to my heart. I often remember laying under my desk, the very desk I sit at now, and reading stories that lifted me high into the sky on a ship that sailed through the cotton candy clouds of my imagination. When I first read the story of Wynken, Blynken and Nod (a poem by Eugene Fields) I was 8 years old. I stared out my bedroom window into the sky, just waiting to see a wooden shoe float by. Stories like that are so explosive to my psyche and the colors and songs and even the very scent of the tale are magnified in my head. I can cheerfully go on and on about children's books and poems that affected the days of my youth.

It's a joy to have pages come alive to me. One set of books I owned were a set of children's Bible stories that focused on a young girl who would find herself in "Bibleland" involved in the real story of
Adam and Eve or Noah and the Ark, or Jesus and his ministry. I loved those
books because the scriptures came alive to me. And at the end of each book there was a small limerick that stated "Reading is the key to take you where you want to be" and I held that close to my heart, along with the verses that came alive for me, and the poems and stories that allowed me to swim with dolphins and fly to the moon.

One of my favorite stories from my youth (and truly, I must say this of all my childhood loves) is the book "Where the Wild Things Are". The idea of sailing across the sea to an island of wild beasts who
I could rule and tame and love was so magical. When I saw the movie preview for the book, I nearly knocked over my chair, it looked so gorgeous...just as I imagined. Often I hate movies for ruining the ideas in my head of certain stories and books, but this movie just looked so magical! Well, my friend Cole Abaius wrote this lovely article on his take of the movie and I just have to share it
with you. He is one of my favorite writers, but I might be biased because he's been on my list of favorite people since my awkward teenage years.

Obviously, when I see the movie this weekend I will give you all my personal insight on the film. As a general rule, if I absolutely love something, only mush comes out of my mouth. And if I detest something, only garbled grunts and pouts come out. So really, my take on such things are sort of moot. I never make any sense.

I must say that the idea of sharing these stories with my Wesley and
introducing him to the tales of my youth brightens my day considerably. Even when surrounded by despair in this life, there are always the places tucked away in our mind that we can run to.
Wherever that place is to you, be it Narnia, Middle-Earth, a tree-house inhabited by a certain family of bears, you can always find a sort of joy that clouds out all the rest.

Whenever I see my son laying on his tummy with his trains, or horses or dinosaurs and talking to them in his sweet, innocent toddler babble, I am overwhelmed by such a happiness and I have to go lay on my tummy by him and play all over again. Those are the moments to give thanks for.

To shout it really.

A Poem by Eugene Fields:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe--
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea--
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish--
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam--
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea--
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.

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