Saturday, September 24, 2011

simple joys

I've been having a wonderful time chronicling my adventures in France on my blog (I'm about half way done) as well as my Pocket Pacy adventures!

I've been actually getting such a kick out of the whole Pocket Pacy project that I think I will continue and expand it at home.

But so far, I think my favorite memory of France has been when I wandered into the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris.  I became entranced by this Italian style fountain:
The Medici Fountain

But the Sasquatch grew a little bored as I sketched and walked around, instead. When he came back, he said, "I think there's something over there you'll really want to see."

He was right. Because "over there" was an amazing vintage carousel:

the animals were designed by the Charles Garnier, the same designer of the Grand Opera!
The animals were worn and chipped, there wasn't even music playing. But there was a new group of children waiting each time and the grey horse even had a waiting line (it seemed to be the "special one.")   All the children carried sticks and the carousel was full each round.

Look how old the animals are!
The only animal that was ignored was the giraffe (and the tented carriage).

And I slowly figured out why. The carousel was an old-fashioned game. The children tried to catch the ring on the bell with their sticks. The grey horse must be the "lucky one" and the giraffe, not so much:

Every child was so enthusiastic, so excited about their animal and trying to catch the was incredibly charming and delightful.

And to me, it was also very hopeful. In this day and age, with computers and video games, to see children enjoying something so simple was inspiring. Things don't have to light up, be bright, shiny, action-packed and new for kids to love it. Simple things can still be vibrant and beloved.

It seems like there are hundreds of articles a day about how the book is dead, how the new generations will turn up their noses at a paper book. Perhaps many will. But perhaps, many will not. Perhaps they will still find the simple pleasure in an old-fashioned book like they do with this old-fashioned carousel.


Libby Koponen said...

Grace! I love this post. I will remember it each time I am discouraged about books and simple things.

There is a carousel where the children try to catch the ring in Watch Hill, though the horses aren't NEARLY as beautiful as the Paris ones.

That grey horse is so pretty!

Thanks for posting this. It's true: SOME children will find pleasure in simple old-fashioned books! That's a good thing to remember.

Unknown said...

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Meghan McCarthy said...

well said!