When our (twin) sons were very small, one of the stories they loved hearing was contained in a chunky little book called Cozy in the Woods. The would ask for it often as they began to speak (“Cosies . . . woods!”), and given that it is illustrated by one of my favorite artists, I was more than happy to read this endearing story to them again and again. Now, as we continue to settle in at Acorn Lodge, I find I hear the echo of their small, sweet voices in my head regularly (“Cosies . . . woods!”), and especially as we finally begin to unpack our books, we are indeed feeling cosy in the woods!
We own thousands of books, and many of them have been squirreled away in long-term storage for more than two years now, since we could not accommodate them all in our San Francisco home. The bookcases that line the two long walls in the Great Room here have, at long last, been built into place over the last few weeks, and so we have begun the task of lugging box after box of books into the house and unpacking. Some of the books are as yet unread, treats (one hopes!) for future dates, but we are delighted to commune with the others once again as old friends.
We have been fortunate to have our fair share of visitors at Acorn Lodge since we moved in a few months ago. There is joy in the warmth of friendship, in the exchange of stories, in sharing this space with them — an undisputed cosiness generated by their company for which we are grateful. We find many of the same charms in our books: because of the possibility they represent to explore the unknown, to suggest new ideas, and to offer fresh ways of looking at the world, books are friends to our need to create meaning. We were determined from the outset to provide adequate space for our books in our new home. For us, there is no ‘home’ without books, and we are gratified to cosy up Acorn Lodge with their treasured presence.
The first volumes that were unpacked comprise our collection of children’s literature, one that is not inconsiderable. I believe that the most important means of nurturing children (aside, of course, from providing for health and safety) is simply to read to them. Many years ago, I was asked by the Director at our children’s nursery school to share my love and knowledge of children’s books with the other parents at school, so I created an annotated list of the books which were our children’s favorites. The list was added to in the years that followed, after I had joined the staff at the nursery school, and I offer it up here in case anyone is looking for a good book with which to cosy up to the child(ren) in his or her life.
With our library at the ready, full of volumes to suit everyone from the youngest to the most ‘mature’ among us, we feel truly blessed and unequivocally at home. The leaves are falling now from the trees outside the Great Room windows, but with books to hand and a fire to sit beside, how could we be anything but cosy in the woods?!?