I was given a sweet little gift this weekend. While at a yard sale, I happened upon a copy of Frederick by Leo Lionni. When I saw it laying there still in shrink wrap with other Scholastic books, I knew it had been set aside just for me. I was so thrilled to find it and know that it will be a book that I will keep on my bedside table to read time and time again. Thank you, Lord, for my little present.
I’ve always loved this little book. Are you familiar with it? It’s a story about a little field mouse family that lives in a cobblestone wall in the country. As the summer comes to an end, the little mice gather up nuts and grain and corn for the winter. But, Frederick is scolded because he isn’t pulling his share of load. He appears to be shirking his responsibility, but he believes he is spending his time wisely as he is collecting thoughts, colors and sunbeams for the winter. At the end of the book, when the dead of winter arrives, he is able to share those stored thoughts, words and sunshine with his little friends. Through this, he warms their spirits and brings them joy.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m as hard a worker as any. In fact, I work too much, at times, when I should be fellowshipping with friends or family. When I am away from home, I tend to relax and enjoy myself. But, when I am at home, I always seem to be thinking of some job that I should be doing. It would do me well to do a little more sharing with my family than I actually do.
None-the-less, I often feel like Frederick. I have little lists here and there around my home. Like a mouse hoarding grain, I collect words, thoughts and photographs. When I hear a new word that I think is fun or interesting, I write it in my little personal dictionary. I also have a list of phrases that I have read in different books that intrigued me. Usually it’s the use of the adjectives or the rhythm of the words within a sentence that I like. I consider alliteration my friend : ) Of course, my photographs are stored thoughts, as well.
When I go to the beach, at some point during my visit, I always stand on the sand with my arms stretched wide and my face pointed directly at the sun and I listen. I listen to my body enjoy the feel of the rays on my face. They radiate deep within and warm my spirit. I think then about winter … so that I will remember how much the sun warms me. I tuck that thought away to pull back out on some crisp winter day when the sun shines, but the warmth is muffled.
Storing up words and sunbeams is just as important as stockpiling nuts and wheat. May you find some beautiful thoughts and images to tuck away into your memory bank here as summer slips into fall. Intentionally tuck them away somewhere easy to find that you may be encouraged and warmed when the winter months are deep and long.
Frederick has always made me so very happy!
What makes you smile this marvelous Monday morn?