This morning I made my last batch of gluten free zucchini bread. And as I gathered my powders, both white and brown, bitter and aromatic, I found this at the back of my shelf:
Do you know what this is? It is the colorless, tasteless, scentless product which enhances every sensory experience ever so much more so, sold by Professor Atmos P. H. Ear to the unsuspecting citizens in “Ever-so-much-more-so”, a Homer Price story from the book Centerburg Tales. Ever child should read the Homer Price books by Robert McCloskey, or better yet, enjoy it as a family read-aloud.
My (then) young daughter, Sylvia, planted it on my spice shelf long ago, tucking it in the back so I should discover it one day. I laughed then and I smile every time I see it now because, of course, I have not removed it. I love the intersection of a good book and ordinary life. My picnic basket links us to The Wind in the Willows, and Molly’s homebuilt wardrobe draws on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Our homestead was inspired by My Side of the Mountain.
I am so glad, so deeply grateful for our homeschooling experience which has woven such stories throughout our days. And blessed by the children who have taken to the stage so comfortably to improvise with us.
I once lived with a strange woman who accused me of living in a fantasy world. Maybe she was referring to my habit of wearing Edwardian walking skirts and lacy petticoats, back when it suited my position as a schoolmarm in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, long, long ago. Let’s just say I never did feel I needed to conform to the shifting values of the culture and felt free to choose the best of any era. And in the face of her belligerent insistence that I needed to go get psychological help (she having done me the favor of already explaining my case to a psychologist who was waiting for my call) I thought, “If this is reality, dear God, I choose to write my own fiction.”
And that is true today, ever so much more so.