Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Soul Would have No Rainbow....

                     The soul would have no rainbow
                            if the eyes had no tears.

Last week when in Jackson Hole nestled by the beautiful Grand Tetons, I picked up a book of Native American proverbs. This wonderful quote with its wisdom and rhythm, is the title.

Paging through the book I came across this quotation, pertinent to us all, particularly as writers.

                  Words are the voice of the heart.

When I read this I thought of the focus of our writing for children and YA's and what part of heart do we want or need to convey to them. Then I thought of the anniversary this week of Dr. King's speech and remembered a book I read as a child of 8 to 11.

Marguarite De Angeli's  THEE HANNAH still flashes through my memory, scene by scene. Hannah is a little Quaker girl in Philadelphia at the time of the Civil War. She isn't happy that she has to wear plain dresses and hats while her friend who is of another church gets to wear pretty, flowered dresses of different colors. One day she is walking home when a desperate African American woman with her child who are hiding behind a house, calls to her and asks for help. Hannah tells her parents and they help the poor fugitive to an underground railroad station. The fleeing woman tells Hannah she knew she could rely on Hannah to help her because she recognized her dress as a Quaker. Suddenly Hannah understands the symbolism and her family's courage and heart in living what they believe and helping others. What a great book for children to see other children's conflicts and see how their courage does make a difference.

What a great goal to strive for - bringing help and understanding for heart and soul through the books we write.


  1. Love it Eileen. Beautiful descriptive writing, that inspires and explains, is something to strive for.

  2. Nice to be reminded of an older book with evocative writing and a good story.

    1. Julie and Gale

      Thanks for commenting - lots of heart and wisdom in our Native American proverbs and in good writing for children