Friday, July 23, 2010

Fog Magic

I picked this up never having heard of it and read it in a day or two. Madeleine liked it, but I think she thought it was a little too juvenile for her. The story is very sweet about a girl who loves the fog that rolls around her seaside home. One day she finds a mysterious village that only seems to exist in the grey mist and she uncovers the magical and secret stories of the inhabitants that live there.

Julia L. Sauer 1943

Every soul in the little fishing village at the foot of the mountain had learned to accept the fog. It was part of their life. They knew that for weeks on end they must live within its circle. But they made no pretense of liking it. Those who tilled their little plots of land hated it when it kept their hay from drying. The men who fished dreaded it for it either kept them on shore altogether and cut down their meager earnings, or it made their hours on the sea more dangerous than ever. Only the lobster poachers who robbed honest men’s lobster pots, or set their own out of season, like it- the lobster poachers and small Greta. And with Greta it was more than liking. On days when the gray clouds of fog rolled in from the sea and spread over the village, she would watch it drift past the windows with a look on her small face that almost frightened her mother.

As soon as Greta could walk, Gertrude found that she might as well put her housework aside on foggy days and give herself to minding her child. The first thin wraiths of fog in the high pasture were enough to set her small daughter’s eyes sparkling. By the time it hid the big rock at the top of the pasture, Greta would be working her way cautiously to the door; and when it drew close enough to blur their own out-buildings, she would be scampering down the pasture lane as fast as her uncertain little feet could carry her.

An old man says to Greta's mother: 
“Some are moon-struck, they say, and some are sun-struck,” he said. “Maybe this one is fog-struck. Don’t worry about her, Gertrude. It’s good for a young one to want to know the world she lives in in all kinds of weather.”

There's also some sweet musings about growing older.  When she turns 12 Greta's father tells her: 
“On your twelfth birthday, Greta, you grow up, and you put away childish things. Sometimes you’ll wish you hadn’t because you put behind you so many things- happy and unhappy. But the next twelve years can be happier still, my girl, and the twelve after that. And try to remember this- none of the things you think you’ve lost on the way are really lost. Every one of them is folded around you- close.”

No comments:

Post a Comment