Thursday, March 1, 2018

Oh, To Write Like Beatrix Potter

One of my earliest memories involves snuggling with my mom and younger brother in mom's bed in the middle of the day while she read to us my favorite book, Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
I was captivated by this book.  The illustrations fascinated me with charming detail.  The smallness of the book itself felt special.  The characters enchanted me.  Mr. Mc Gregor's shadowy presence always looming nearby suggesting danger.  Peter possessed a willingness to be naughty in a way I couldn't have imagined doing myself. But it was the words that took hold of my imagination and would not let go.
Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.
I remember this line tripping across mom's tongue as she read. It was absolutely lyrical and I begged her to read it again and again. I didn't understand what the individual words meant exactly, but from context I knew Peter was stuck and the birds were urging him towards freedom.  I knew that if anyone in great excitement ever implored me to exert myself, I would do it!
I also knew that I wanted to experience the delightful sensation I felt when those words were rhythmically presented many times in my life.  At first I was content to hear words and phrases other people had put together.  Sometime around junior high I began to experiment with my own words.
The written word has brought me great joy.  It has allowed me to connect with others.  I may never be a great American author, but I will always feel the urge to write.  As I go about other tasks throughout the day phrases and stories swirl through my imagination. I look forward to the quiet time as the day ends when I feverishly commit word to paper responding to the friendly sparrows in my mind.


  1. What a great memory - and how nice that it's remained such an influence in your life!

  2. a very nice weave of words that put pictures in the mind!


Penny for your thoughts.