When I first learned about "Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life " by Marta McDowell I made sure to pre-order it as I dearly wanted to read it and add it to my growing collection of books on Beatrix Potter, especially as it included some artwork I had not seen before. And being a gardener at heart, and having so enjoyed Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Garden when I was there in 2012, I was really looking forward to learning more about Beatrix Potter's gardening life.
The book arrived promptly upon publication but I had little time to sit and read it as I wanted. So it sat on the table next to my chair, waiting for a day when I could sit and savor it. That day finally happened this past week! And on that same day, the last (and most anticipated!) little Beatrix Potter figurine that I ordered for my birthday, also arrived!
The book has been every bit as enjoyable as I anticipated. I've reveled in Marta's writing and the lovely bits of Beatrix Potter's art that she included and lovingly remembered walking in so many of the spots she wrote about! And Timmy Willie, for that is the little mouse's name, sat beside me in all it's cuteness and reminded me what a country mouse I really am!
Timmy Willie is the gentle antagonist to the character of Johnny Town Mouse in Beatrix Potter's little book, "The Tale of Johnny Town Mouse ". I always thought the book should have been named the Tale of Timmy Willie, or The Tale of a Country Mouse. It was always a favorite of mine. A little country mouse who inadvertently finds himself in the city, discovers it not at all to his liking, who delightfully finds his way back to the country and his pleasant quiet life. In the course of all these adventures, he meets Johnny Town Mouse who of course prefers his life in the city.
I love the last thought in this little book, for I too prefer to live in the country, like Timmy Willie. It suits me and though I don't actually live in the country, I choose the smaller rural city where I live because it feels like a small country town and I like it's peaceful ways. It's a balm to come home to after my work nights in the big city.
On the same track, I've just finished re-reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time. My kids have just been playing around with one of the quizzes on Facebook about what character from the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit that you are, so I had to play along too. Of course I came out as a Hobbit! I've often thought that this description of Hobbits was a perfect description of myself: "For they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well ordered and well farmed countryside was their favorite haunt."
I'm happy and contented to be a quiet country mouse, or to be a peace loving, gardening hobbit! On these cold January days, it is a delight to be able to spend time inside, cozy and warm with a lovely gardening book, a sweet little vision of Timmy Willie at my side, and dream about my garden plans for the spring!