Friday, September 23, 2011

The Past

Is it coincidence? Is it an accident?  Just plain, dumb luck?

When I go to the library, sometimes I have a planned list of the books I am going to look for, books that are on my to-read list over at Goodreads. But if I haven't had the time to sit down and look through that, then I just head to the library and quickly browse for titles that look interesting, meet my content criteria standards, and take as many of those home as I can find.

And I don't know what it is, be it pure chance or fate. The first time it happened, I came home with two random titles, and they both ended up being novels about mermaids.  Huh, I thought to myself.  Then a while later, I came home with a stack of books and two of them were about women who lived through tragically horrible building fires.  That's when I really started to question just how random the picks of these books really were.  This most recent trip to the library, I came home with a really huge stack (most of which I had actually requested the librarians get together for me based on my goodreads to-read list).  And as I was reading through these books the last week or so, I noticed yet another trend.  Nearly all of these books were set in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  What, I ask you, WHAT are the odds of that?  I can't help but wonder what theme of novel I will come home with next.

As I read book after book set in this time period I noticed another trend.  Each one filled me with some sort of undefinable longing.  The more I read, and the more I thought about what I was reading - and in particular thought about the lives of the women described in this stories, the more I was able to begin defining this longing.  It pretty much boils down to this: sometimes, I wish I had been born in that time period.

Call me crazy. I mean, I know and I am grateful for the wonders of the modern world. I am happy to have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, hair dryer, car, modern medicine.  Yes, I recognize the advantages of having these and I am appreciative of the luxury they are in life.

But... but... but...

I wonder if I would appreciate my days more if they truly ended when the sun went down.  Would I appreciate the beauty of a good night's rest more if I could see the stars winking out my window?  Would my daughters value their possessions more if they only had one toy?  Would I think more about how and where I spent my money if each dollar - even each nickel - still had actual value?

I guess what I'm muddling my way through trying to say here is that I do appreciate my life. I know I have it easy, and I know I have it good.  I just can't help but wish that I could appreciate it more.  Live it more.  Embrace it more.

And that is why, I have made the final decision.  If ever faced with the option of transporting into a fictional place, or past time, I would choose the late 1800s over Narnia, over NeverNeverLand, over the Shire, over any other place or time ever written about.  The Shire comes in second though, just so you know.


  1. That is really interesting that themes keep popping up.

    I am interested to read your reviews and see what the books are that you just read/are reading right now.

    It is kind of crazy to think of pennies and nickels having intrinsic worth. As opposed to only having worth if you have a lot of them!

    The Shire would be awesome. I have never thought about what fictional place I would like to live in.

    I have thought about different time periods though, and late 1800s does seem pretty nice. Letting your kids play outside out of eye sight all day without fear and fence. Unimaginable!

    Seriously though, I think I could get used to an outhouse. What would be a shock (if I lived in that time period but could remember this one) is having no heating or air conditioning. I really doubt fire places compare to forced hot air. And without electricity, fans didn't really exist. I would really have to be tougher!

  2. Well, I might put the Shire first. But I am totally will you on this. I don't know if I'm actually tough enough for it, but I loooooooove the idea!