We just finished reading aloud The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was my third time to travel through this never-ending wintertime with Laura. This book always makes me thankful for food and for a warm home. It always renews my respect for the brave pioneers who confronted an untamed land and brought it to its knees for the next generation. We, all of us, live in comfort today because of their toil yesterday. I pause to ask myself, what am I leaving the coming generation? Good books, well, sometimes even bad books, can often force you to think!
Laura never disappoints in the description department. She makes you smell the grass, the dirt, and even the sunshine. She takes you back, so effortlessly, to another century. She lets you feel the sweat and calluses. She allows you to taste homemade bread and a green pumpkin pie. I could feel the snow in my face, and the cold winds taking away my breath! I love traveling back in time with Mrs. Wilder through her books. I feel she is a close friend.
As this book came to a close, I was moved (once again) by the song at the end, “For Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way”. I’d like to share it with you. Perhaps you’ll want to meet Laura yourself, if you haven’t already.
This life is a difficult riddle,
For how many people we see
With faces as long as a fiddle
That ought to me shining with glee.
I’m sure in this world there are plenty
Of good things enough for us all,
And yet there’s not one out of twenty
But thinks that his share is too small.
Then what is the use of repining,
For where there’s a will, there’s a way,
And tomorrow the sun may be shining,
Although it is cloudy today.
Do you think that by sitting and sighing
You’ll ever obtain all you want?
It’s cowards alone that are crying
And foolishly saying, ‘I can’t!’
It is only by plodding and striving
And laboring up the steep hill
Of life, that you’ll ever be thriving,
Which you’ll do if you’ve only the will.
This little poem convicted me, for I’m often one with a face “as long as a fiddle”, when I ought to be “shining with glee”. Every Christian should shine with glee, for no matter how difficult this life is – and it is so often difficult – we know that one day, we’ll be in Heaven! We know Christ, and through Him, we can keep climbing the hills joyfully.
So much success can be had by “plodding and striving”. Keep going, keep looking up, and keep a song in your heart.