Adam: As spring advances in the northern hemisphere, here, in the southern hemisphere autumn is gradually turning to winter. There are lots of chores to do before the frosts set in and the days are long, dark and cold. It's good to take some time to plan how we'll spend our winter. It was fun to get this letter from our friends up north, to learn how they passed the cold months.
Dear Angelo & Adam,Winters in our part of the world can be long, cold and dark. However, they do provide a great opportunity for us to catch up on our reading. We want to share with you some of the things we have enjoyed reading over the winter.
For some unknown reason we have a few books in Italian in the house. Giancarlo is very fond of these. He loves to read stories in his native tongue, because he says the Italian language is “molto bella”.
Corduroy is Sasha’s favorite book. I think it’s because he really relates to the story. Like the eponymous bear, Sasha also spent a long time in the toy department of a big store before Steve brought him home. However unlike Corduroy, Sasha never went wandering about after the store closed, or tried to pull the buttons off of mattresses.
I love to read books on architecture, and fortunately Steve has tons of them. I also enjoy magazines on gardening. I’m making a list of things I want to try planting this spring. As any gardener will tell you, the planning is half the fun.
It’s always nice to revisit the classics. We think the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson capture the essence of childhood. Many years ago when Sasha came to live with Steve, he was dressed in pajamas and a robe. As a child, Steve imagined him to be the sickly boy in “The Land of Counterpane”. We are particularly fond of the poem “To Any Reader” –
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.
We hope that your readers never lose touch with their own ‘child or air’. Hold on to the child, and always let him or her out to play.