Read Me to Sleep

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: “You are not alone.”

~ Roald Dahl

When I was a sick little girl the thing that would, — heck, as a sick old woman, the thing that does — above all else, make me feel better is to be read to. I love to read, but there is an element of nurture, and rightness, and care, that being read to brings immediately to the sick room.

Today, when G/Son was feeling very sick, Nonna straightened the cool cotton sheets, and offered iced water with a straw, and proffered pudding, and Italian ice, and soup. She ran bathtubs full of mint leaves and she made ice compresses and rubbed feet. And, most of all, Nonna read. G/Son asked for The Secret Garden, and so we moved from cholera-struck India, across the sea with the snotty children of a missionary and his wife, onto a train running north through the rain to the Scottish moors, and into a house with over a hundred rooms, but most of them locked up.

And then we closed our eyes, and imagined a red light surrounding us to make us feel better. And then the crickets came to do magic.

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

~ Roald Dahl

Has anyone ever read you back to health? Have you ever read to anyone as a spell?

Picture found here.

6 responses to “Read Me to Sleep

  1. Long ago and far away, my Scots mum would wipe a sick child down with warm water and vinegar (one of the oldest disinfectants); there would be chicken soup with barley and hot tea with milk (cambric tea) When I got a bit better there would be toast “soldiers” (toast cut into strips) with honey; and good strong ginger ale (to settle my unsettled tummy) and Digestive biscuits.

    And when my “coupy nasty” cough continued — a mustard plaster would be applied to my chest — to set up “the heat” No — I don’t remember how she made it ! 🙂

    All best thoughts for warm good healing and soft words — I always liked books by E. Nesbit — like The Phoenix and the Carpet. Or perhaps one by Edith Blyton? How about Bedknobs and Broomsticks?

  2. Hecate, I’ll read to you anytime when you are sick, happily.

  3. I realize it’s usually seen as a “girls” book, but the equally wonderful “A Little Princess”, by the same author, got me through many sad and dreary days as a child; as did the Secret Garden. I wish I had had a Nonna to read those to me… GSon is one of the lucky ones! Hope he feels better soon. Blessings.

  4. PS: I have developed a habit of falling asleep to audio books (usually juvenile/young adult are the best) from our city digital library… I simply adore Rick Riordan! I find it soothing, although I always have to go back and figure out just where I nodded off. Have to be careful about the narrator though, some are just horrible/obnoxious! I have the strangest dreams from them sometimes, LOL…

  5. I hope your grandson is better by now, I know as a mom when my son is sick it totally brings out the nurse witch in me, must be doubly so as a grandma.

  6. An amazing pin board of reading — and lovely photos of bookshelves ….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s