Summer is slipping away and will soon be a distant memory. I hope you all will have great memories of adventures, vacations and lazy days this summer.
I think I told you all that one of my reading goals this year was to go back and re-read a classic book that was a favorite when I was a kid. I thought it would be fun to see if the book still held the same magic it did years ago and would I finish and still love it? Would it hold the same message or would I see something different this time around? I just finished The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B White and I can tell you……
I still love the story, but for different reasons which is interesting.
Growing up in a small mountain town, there wasn’t much to do over the summer. We had no malls to hang out with friends, no skating rink, no beach or bowling alley. Movies stayed at the local one screen theater for 2 weeks at a time. Unless your hobbies included hiking, fishing or dirt bike riding, summer days were lazy and boring. As school let out, I would rush to our small little local library the first day they held sign ups for the summer reading challenge. Grabbing a stack of books, I would set off on a summer journey to other worlds through books.
The Trumpet of the Swan was a book I never forgot. I was swallowed up by the fantasy of a swan who learned to read, write and play a trumpet because he had no voice and couldn’t communicate with his family, friends, and a swan he loved. I could relate to the boy who would wander through the marsh in the backcountry to sit quietly for hours at the lakes edge watching these majestic birds. I wished I was Louis the swan, able to fly away on adventures, I wanted out of our small town.
Reading the book as an adult, it took me back to the lazy childhood days of summer where I would wander to the huge rock that jetted up out of the creek with a book, looking for solitude to read, think and contemplate life. I wanted to fly on Louis’ back just to see places I longed to visit.
Louis is a trumpeter swan who can’t make a sound; seeing his frustration, his father flies off to find a trumpet for Louis. He hopes his son can learn to play the trumpet and finally communicate. Louis is bullied, looked upon differently, but he works to overcome adversity. He learns to play beautiful music with his trumpet and he flies away to find work playing his trumpet. He is determined to earn enough money to pay back the man who had damage done to his music store and a trumpet stolen when his father blew through the window to get at the trumpet.
This time around the story took on a different meaning for me. One that we all need to try and remember and instill in our children. Acceptance of people who are different. Bullying someone because they are different is completely unacceptable. Take responsibility for your actions and step up to the plate to do what is hard, but right to correct any damage you cause. Follow your dreams and never give up.
E.B White wrote Trumpet of the Swan and had it published in 1970. While it is over 40 years old, it still holds the same magic, inspiring message and is relevant to life today.
I had so much fun going back to a book from my childhood, I’m going to do it again. Maybe I will read Charlotte’s Web or Stuart Little also by E.B White. Little Women or Mouse and the Motorcycle, who knows, but I’m sure it will be a fun journey.
If you have re-read a favorite childhood book, please share with me what book and if you still love it and why. If you found a great book over the summer you are just dying to talk about and share, please feel free.
Until next time,