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Secret Ingredients – 11

I’m starting a new series on here about the books that influenced me growing up.

These are the books that shaped my brain. Gave me my fears, values, and passions.

The Julie Secret Ingredients!

Well, we’ve slipped into the yellow part of the year. The light weakens, the flowers fade, and I come in from outside more often to read. All of that reminded me to keep going with this series about the books that shaped who I am. That’s magic, isn’t it? Being able to experience a thing so profoundly simply by reading it? There isn’t really a day that goes by without me navigating my surroundings through the lens of the books I’ve read.



by Johanna Spyri

I’m sure many (possibly most) of you have seen the movie with Shirley Temple. It’s not bad, but of course, it’s not the book. There are parts of this book that make me ache with an indescribable longing. To this day, the sound of wind in fir trees stops me dead in my tracks as I see Heidi in my mind’s-eye dancing beneath them. Here, let me show you:

Evening was coming on. It was beginning to blow harder in the old fir trees, for a mighty wind had sprung up and was whistling and moaning through their thick tops. It sounded so beautiful in Heidi’s ears and heart that she was quite delighted, and skipped and jumped under the firs as if she were feeling the greatest pleasure of her life.

And then the goats arrive with Peter! And she shouts with joy to see her friends. And she’s thrilled that the goats (little swan and little bear) live in the shed with them. And then they drink fresh milk and bread – and by they, I mean Heidi and her grandfather. Which, if you know my love for *my* grandfather, you’d understand.  You’d understand my glowering rage with the townsfolk who think him violent and break his heart, all because he’s had his little grand-daughter stolen away. And there’s the blind grandmother, Peter’s grandmother, and Heidi learns to read while she’s in the city, and she comes home and reads the gorgeous poem about the beauty of the world, and the blind grandmother says, “O Heidi, that gives me light!” And Klara! And her papa. Oh, oh, oh, her papa! Just talking about this book makes me want to leap around the room. It’s simply The Best Book. Ever. I am all giddy and weepy now from looking through the book and remembering its sweetness.

This book is my heart.



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