…has lost her sheep and doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone and they’ll come home
Wagging their tails behind them.
I still have that book of nursery rhymes my mother read to me as a child. One night she told me to tell her the stories. From then on bedtime stories turned into me seeing how many nursery rhymes I could recite on my own. Lying on my little twin bed under the eaves of the old farmhouse roof, I recited stories about Peter the Pumpkin Eater, Mary and her garden of silver bells, and Little Miss Muffet sitting on her tuffet. Before long, I’d fall asleep in the middle of a verse and mom would tuck me in.
Eventually, we grew out of that routine. Little girls grow up and leave the ‘tucking-in’ behind them. But those nursery rhymes buried themselves in my memory bank, laying dormant, waiting for an opportunity to be called up.
Fast forward about some thirty-odd years to a log-cabin.
I sit under the sloped eaves of a mountain log cabin, on the floor, next to my son’s little bed. He’s fighting a nap – so afraid to close his eyes for fear of missing out on something. And out they come – those characters and rhymes from my childhood. Once again the clock strikes one and down the mouse runs. Jack and Jill are running up the hill and the kittens have lost their mittens.
I am transported to a time when I was connected to my mother through stories, rhymes, and bedtime. I stroke my son’s forehead and the connection extends across the next generation.
Now, if he’d just go to sleep!