Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Because every now and then, we ALL need a journey to the Bunny Planet...

It has been a long, long day.

After weeks and weeks of being ill and dealing with ill people, I find myself woefully behind in my preparations for Christmas (!) as well as the daily routine... And so, I've been madly rushing around, attempting to play the impossible game of "catch-up".

It was a bitterly damp, cold winter day out there today, and as I was standing in one of the many long, looooong cash check-out lines during the "running errands" part of my schedule, my head began to throb with the promise of a migraine to come... And to tell you the truth, the day didn't get a whole lot better after that.

That is, until I was all snuggled up, reading Child Number Three her bedtime story this evening.

Wee Three rifled through our enormous bookcases, and came up with a most wonderful choice: Rosemary Wells' gently-told and beautifully illustrated children's storybook, "First Tomato".

The first few paragraphs are pretty gloomy:

"Claire ate only three spoons of cornflakes for breakfast. On the way to school, her shoes filled with snow. By eleven in the morning, math had been going on for two hours..."

And the poor little girl's day goes further down-hill from there, if you can believe it.

The final straw for Claire is when at the end of her long, hard day, her bus is late, and she must wait outside in the cold and the snow for it to arrive to take her home.

But, amazingly, Claire resists the temptation to blow her stack and have a meltdown. Instead, she shows incredible resilience by putting her imagination to work while she waits. She envisions herself travelling to her own special imaginary place, the Bunny Planet:

Far beyond the moon and stars,
Twenty light-years south of Mars,
Spins the gentle Bunny Planet,
And the Bunny Queen is Janet.

Janet says to Claire, "Come in.
Here's the day that should have been."

I hear my mother calling
when the summer wind blows,
"Go out in the garden
in your old, old clothes.

Pick me some runner beans
and sugar snap peas.
Find a ripe tomato
and bring it to me, please."

A ruby red tomato
is hanging on the vine.
If my mother didn't want it,
the tomato would be mine.

It smells of rain and steamy earth
and hot June sun.
In the whole tomato garden
it's the only ripe one.

I close my eyes and breathe in
its fat, red smell.
I wish that I could eat it now,
and never, never tell.

But I save it for my mother,
without another look,
I wash the beans and shell the peas
and watch my mother cook.

I hear my mother calling
when the summer winds blow,
"I've made you first tomato soup
because I love you so."

How wonderful, to think that it can still be summer in our hearts and minds, even when the wind and snow of winter is whistling all around us. We should all have a "Day-That-Should-Have-Been" in the backs of our minds, ready to be pulled out to soothe the soul in times of stress and strife...

I can't imagine a nicer day than the one that Claire chose... Gardening and cooking and TOMATOES? Absolutely.

It makes me wonder... what would your Day-That-Should-Have-Been be like?


painted maypole said...

what a great story. thanks.

(had a pretty good day - watched and movie and chatted with a friend, got offered a part in a play, and started getting out the Xmas decorations. I wouldn't change it!)

mrinz said...

What a wonderful story.

I have been away for a few days visiting the 'Grandies' and reading lots of childrens stories.

They have a new one I hadn't seen before 'The Gruffalo's Child'. It is described as 'fun, daft and a little scary' which is true!

I will do a post soon about some more favourites.

Hope that you have lots of good days coming your way!

Candygirlflies said...

Hi Mrinz!

We have both the "Gruffalo" books here at our house... The first one, simply called "The Gruffalo" is priceless-- perhaps an idea for a grandchild's Christmas present?!

I'll have to do another post on some of our favourite books, too, and we'll compare notes!

Glad you're home-- I missed you. How are those little twins?

xo CGF

Emily R said...

My day? Would be going to the beach with my family.

The Gruffalo, btw, is fantastic.

mrinz said...

My Daughter in law has already bought The Gruffalo for their Christmas stocking. I have bought them Mrs WishyWashy's Christmas.

The twins are gorgeous and growing into real little characters. They are 7 months old now, almost sitting and look like they will be very active little boys when they start moving.

They watch and observe their sister with their big eyes, turning their heads in unison as she walks past and look like those clowns at the fairground! Being identical they look so funny!!

Leeann said...

Is this a Canada thing? Because I have never heard of these books. Adorable, though!

shauna said...

What a wonderful question. There are countless times I wish I could have a do-over. Tomorrow the kids are out of school--I think I'll ask myself this question in the morning: what should today be?

slouching mom said...

That's a beautiful story!

Have you read Bill Peet's The Caboose Who Got Loose? It's one of our favorites.

Also, The Seven Silly Eaters (Mary Ann Hoberman).

For me, the day-that-should-have-been would have to include the company of a good friend, some coffee, and some quiet time reading a book.

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