The book we are currently reading is very special for many reasons. My mother found it in her things, read it, and let us borrow it saying that we absolutely HAD to read it.
She told us that it was the book that her father (my Grampy) would read to her and her sisters aloud. She said that he would laugh and laugh, and they wouldn't understand what was so funny. But they loved the experience of having him read to them.
Now I have the very book that he read out of in my hands, and I'm reading it aloud to my husband. That fact, in and of itself is very special and has a beauty that is hard to describe or fathom completely.
But there is more to why this book is special. The book is an autobiographical account of Ralph Moody (the author) and his family when they moved from New England to Colorado in 1906 when he was only 8 years old. The places he tells about are the places I lived in when I was between the ages of 6 and 10 years old and then again when I was a freshman and sophomore in high school. So his way of looking at the world is very much the way mine was at the same age. He mentions places that I know firsthand: places that are part of my childhood memories. He talks about feelings and experiences I can completely relate to.
For these special reasons, the book has brought about such choice emotions, memories, and stirrings deep within me. And as I read aloud, I often stop and share those with my husband. We have shed tears as we've read the book together.
Just yesterday as we drove home from my husband's parents' home, I read the following passage aloud. It is Ralph's father talking to him as they milk the cows and giving his son some important advice in a way that only a parent can. It touched my very inner core, and I am still digesting the concepts it discusses. It is such a powerful example of the beauty of simplicity and so much more. I am sharing it here in the hope that someone else will find value in it as well.
"Son, I had hoped you wouldn't run into anything like this till you were
older, but maybe it's just as well. There are only two kinds of men in
this world: Honest men and dishonest men. There are black men and
white men and yellow men and red men, but nothing counts except whether they're
honest men or dishonest men.
"Some men work almost entirely with their brains; some almost entirely with
their hands; though most of us have to use both. But we all fall into one
of the two classes--honest and dishonest.
"Any man who says that the world owes him a living is dishonest. The
same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that
it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was
careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its welath in exchange for the
labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without
contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.
"Son, this is a long sermon for a boy of your age, but I want so much for
to be an honest man that I had to explain it to you." (p 177)
Ralph then goes on to write:
"I wish I knew how Father was able to say things so as to make you remember
every word of it. If I could remember everything the way I remember the
things Father told me, maybe I could be as smart a man as he was." (p 177)
[Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody (Chicago USA, copyright 1950 by Ralph Moody)]