When my daughters were little they had many favourite books. One of them was, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Because they couldn’t pronounce Rumphius easily, we called it, The Lupine Lady.
Read us about the lupine lady, they would plead at bed time, and the three of us would snuggle together and I would read and they would ooh and aaah over the beautiful pictures, taking turns to carefully turn each page.
It is a delightful story of a woman named Alice who as a young girl, upon hearing the stories of her uncle’s travels, promised him she too would one day travel the world and then come home to live by the sea. Just like him.
“That’s all very well,” her uncle said when she told him of her plans, “but there is a third thing you must do. You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
Little Alice grew up to work in a library and still the yearning to travel remained. She packed her bags and travelled the world, made friends that remained in her heart for ever, and when an injury laid her up, she returned to live by the sea.
Her promise to her uncle stayed with her. There was one thing she still needed to do.
She needed to make the world more beautiful.
One spring, after a long winter nursing her injured back, she felt well enough to go for a walk. In a field beyond her home she came upon a patch of lupines the wind and birds had planted with seeds from her garden.
Alice decided that, to make the world more beautiful, she would cast lupine seeds where ever she walked on the island. And the world grew more beautiful.
What seeds are you planting today that will grow your world more wild, beautiful and free?
There are several versions of Miss Rumphius on Youtube. Here is one to spark your imagination and inspire your actions.