Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tuck Everlasting

"Time is like a wheel. Turning and turning--never stopping. And the woods are the center-- the hub of the wheel. It began the first week of summer, a strange and breathless time when accident or fate, bring lives together. When people are led to do things they've never done before. On this summer's day, not so very long ago, the wheel set lives in motion in mysterious ways. It set Mae Tuck out in her wagon for the village of Tree Gap to meet her two sons as she did every ten years."
Have you ever read the book Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt? If not, go to the library tomorrow and check it out, find a cozy spot in your home, and read it. You will find yourself lost in the woods outside of Treegap. You will meet, Winnie, a toad, The Tuck Family, and a mysterious man in a yellow suit. Within the book's pages you will read of kidnapping and love and loss. You will struggle with Winnie as she wrestles over a life or death decision. And if you listen really carefully, you will hear a faint tinkling melody coming from a music box. A familiar and yet distant melody. Yes, if you close your eyes and imagine yourself deep within the woods, you just might hear it.

I've been thinking about this book a lot over the last few days. One of its main themes is that of the great circle of life and how, for our own good, we are bound to its cycle. The author uses the metaphor of a wheel throughout the entire book to represent life and what might happen if the wheel stopped turning. Lately, I've been wishing I could slow down the "wheel" a bit. Or maybe even reverse its movement so I could have life "as it used to be." There is something comforting in doing life as I've always done it-- as I've always known it.

In the book, the main character Winnie is forced to ponder that great wheel of life. While talking to Angus Tuck, the father of the immortal Tuck family, she is comforted by his words, "If there's one thing I've learned about people, many will do anything, anything, not to die. And they'll do anything to keep from living their life."

I know life is about growth and change. I know things are not supposed to stay the same forever. And like Winnie, in the end she decides not to fear change or growth or even death. Rather she fears THE UNLIVED LIFE.

So I will embrace life right now--right where I am, not worrying about my tomorrow. Just like Winnie did.

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