When Jia first started in her school, I was given a copy of the books that the school recommends for the kids. Since the school is promoting reality-based books for Casa (pre-school) children (fairy tales are not encouraged) and since it is actually hard to get hold of books like those, I made extra effort to get hold of the books they recommended.
One of the books I looked for for a long time was Miss Rumphius (story and pictures by Barbara Cooney). I checked local and second hand bookstores but could not find a copy. Amazon sells and their used copies actually go for $0.01 only but shipping is $4. Dahil nagkukuripot ako, I didn’t buy and I gave myself a month to look for a copy locally first. I was hoping to find a copy for less than $4.
Just when I was about to give up, I chanced upon a copy in the warehouse sale of Books for Less!! Php10 lang! Hahaha! I was sooo happy! Am sharing the story of Miss Rumphius here because I was really touched by it and it reminds kids and adults alike to make the world a beautiful place.
Miss Rumphius is a very beautiful book. It is about Alice Rumphius and her dreams. The story starts when Alice was a little girl, helping her grandfather in his shop during the day and listening to his stories of faraway places in the evenings. When he had finished, Alice would say that when she grows up she, too, would go to faraway places and that when she grows old, she, too, would live by the sea. Her grandfather encouraged her but told her of a third thing she must do… And that is to make the world a beautiful place. Alice would say yes but had no idea how to do it.
When she grew up, she worked in a library where she was known as “Miss Rumphius”. Some of the books told stories of faraway places.
She decided to travel; she went to places far and wide, met people of different cultures, experienced many things. Then getting off a camel, she hurt her back and she decided it was time to live by the sea.From her new house, she could gaze at the sea. She saw the sun rise in the morning, sparkle in the water during the day, and set in the evening. She was almost perfectly happy. But she realized that she still did not know how to make the world a beautiful place.
One spring day, after months of being on bed because of a bad back, Miss Rumphius took a walk and saw that the lupines she planted the previous summer were already in bloom! She got a wonderful idea. She ordered lupine seeds and scattered them all over. People started calling her “That Crazy Lady”.
When the lupines grew, they appreciated it and started to call her the “Lupine Lady”.
The story ended with Miss Rumphius being a very old lady. She had a great niece, Alice, who wanted to follow her footsteps by exploring the world and living by the sea. Of course, Miss Rumphius told her to do something that will make the world a beautiful place. 🙂
This story made me ponder on the things I do now and if I am contributing enough in making the world a beautiful place. I think I am through my cloth diapering and breastfeeding advocacies but of course, I know I need to do more. After all, we have the next generation (personally I have three kids) to consider. 🙂
Tara, let us make the world a more beautiful place! 🙂