Thursday, August 07, 2008

Waterwalk

Mia stunned me again Friday night with one of her insights. I have to give a disclaimer. She doesn't watch Veggie Tales very often, just on Saturday mornings. She hasn't been to Sunday School or Bible School in several weeks because I've been ill, and Jesse doesn't like to take her when he's alone (she squirms too much for him). I don't read the Bible to her nearly as often as I should. I'm letting you know all of this to see that the things that she comes up with come from someplace inside of her and not from something that's she's seen or heard.


So Friday night we're cuddling in bed, and she says, "Ya know Mommy, when you hurt someone else, you're really hurting yourself too." It took a couple seconds for what she said to sink in, and then I nodded in agreement. She closed her eyes for a moment, then looked at me again and said, "Ya know what else Mommy. You're not just hurting someone else and yourself, but you're hurting God too!" "Yup," I agreed and gave her a hug and a kiss. Whenever I've heard someone describe a child as an old soul, I imagine a solemn child. Mia doesn't have one ounce of solemnity in her, but the wisdom that comes from her lips just moves me. It's not a new idea that to hurt someone else makes you hurt yourself and God as well, but to hear it from a 5-1/2 year old makes it stick.

Waterwalk by Steven Faulkner is the story of a man's desire to connect with his 16-year-old son. Faulkner decided in 1996 to retrace the steps of Marquette and Joliet, the first white men to see the Mississippi River by traveling from St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, down to Green Bay, across Wisconsin on the Fox River to the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi and then down to St. Louis Missouri. It's a trip of over 1000 miles, and the two men made it in a canoe they named Natty Bumpo. I was intrigued by the book because Faulkner actually stopped and visited not only Green Bay, but Oconto, which is only 20 miles away from my home. Faulkner writes with an amazingly lyrical voice quoting poetry and philosophy about a wide range of subjects, but always weaving it gently into the narrative. Faulkner and his son Justin faced a series of adventures, and the friendliness that they encountered in Northeastern Wisconsin makes me proud to be a resident. The story would tend to lag in places, but the book begins with a major car accident, and a few details are carefully portioned out throughout the remainder of the book creating a sense of urgency and fear for the future. The book is beautifully written and was a joy to read.

We are off for our annual camping trip in Wallace Michigan. Hopefully we're having a wonderful time!

1 comments:

Jo said...

"Out of the mouths of babes" I believe is the saying that best applies. It never ceases to amaze me what these little ones say. As a Grandma of many, I have heard quite a lot over the years that has made me sit up and pay attention. Thank you for sharing.