Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

This first stanza from Robert Louis Stevenson's beloved "The Land of Counterpane" (from his Child's Garden of Verses), has always enchanted me. It sets up a sick day as a magic land of comfort; fluffy pillows, endless cups of hot tea, piles of books and magazines close by, a loving parent just a call away. I remember a few of these days growing up, lucky was I to have a mother (British at that) who believed in giving the body time to rest and recover. My childhood Land of Counterpane included hot water bottles, a world of Barbies, marmite toast and a curled-up cat at the end of the bed! But to start the New Year, like I have, with a nasty virus that has driven me under the covers, has not been ideal. I'm countering my pain all right, a throat that feels quite shredded, with Throat Coat and ibuprophen and sleep. So many projects to get to; it's a frustrating January so far! But I'm on the mend. Today, I felt like a couple hours in the studio, so I sign in here, just to say hello to 2012 and share one of my favorite poems. May yours be a healthy start!

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

No comments:

Blog Archive