“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Messing about in boats is exactly what we did for our June book club. After reading The Wind in the Willows, we simply had to get out on the river, mess about in boats, listen to the river, and enjoy a scrumptious picnic on the river bank.
“The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”
“This day was only the first of man similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and fuller of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learned to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.”
In kayaks and canoes, we paddled and played on the river and were as bewitched as Mole by what he saw.
And then, we ate! Ginger beer, gherkins and cress sandwiches.
We talked about our favorite characters (most of us loved the Toad character…Pooh pooh on all his silly antics!), themes, the author’s life (he wrote the book for his son Alistair) and we tried to guess why the book was titled in the way it was.
The writing style did not make this an easy book for many of us to read (it was first published in 1909!) but we rallied and were all glad to have read it.
Adventures await and call out to us. But so does home!