Me and books

I grew up in the world, where reading was a kind of standard and books a kind of treasure. We even had to take care of school books, teachers carefully checked their condition at the end of the school year. At that time there was a shortage of many goods, but every small town used to have a public library.

I loved books before I could read them and I remember the heavy bags I regularly carried home from the library. The books and the stories inside were the food I was starving for. I consumed almost everything without prejudice. I often read between the lines and put my own imagination into the written stories, so I used to have different feelings from my classmates who read the same book. And we talked about it! So I became an adult with the belief that reading books is like breathing, everyone does it.

Since then I’ve met a lot of people, even very intelligent ones, who just don’t like to read. It was before the digital boom and much more after. To be honest, it took me a while to accept it and stop judging people by whether they read books or not. And to be double honest, I had to go through the period of prioritizing my career over reading to come to such understanding.

Once I slowed down after 40, I went back to the books. I still read between the lines and often deal with the psychology of the characters more than the story. I love the visions that are born in my head while reading, they are a great source of further inspiration.

Obviously my confession is a little old school, but it fits. How about your attitude to books? There are tons of them and to my surprise even books with major grammatical errors are published! No wonder that books lose their cultural value and become consumer goods and then waste. I am so sorry for it.

With love and hugs,

Ivana

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Cacti

My really first memory of cacti belongs to a little girl, who watched her father, taking care of small prickly plants and was terribly jealous. Dad made himself a special heating box and watered by exact number of drops each of his baby plant. That’s why I thought for a long time, that cacti are pampered princesses who steal love and attention.

Of course, I learned at school that cacti grow in dry deserts and are a small miracle of survival. But the child’s emotional experience was somehow stronger, so I avoided to meet cacti. Which is quite easy in Central Europe 🙂

What dramatically changed my attitude, was a holiday in the United States, especially traveling through Arizona and New Mexico. Suddenly I met real cacti. Huge, admirable, independent. No sign of pampered princess. I was amazed and speechless.

At that time I realized that the desert can be inhospitable, but it’s definitely not dead. There is a lot of life, just keep your eyes wide open and look beneath the surface. In terms of emotions, desert was one of the most powerful experiences in my life.

I am curious about your personal experience with this very special plant, or desert.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Mistletoe

When I was a small girl, we didn’t keep many traditions in our family. But having a Christmas tree and mistletoe was a must. I loved colorful lights and gifts, as well as the scent of fresh needles, but I didn’t care why people cut trees and moved them into their homes.

However I was curious about the mistletoe. Where does it grow and why does it look like a bird’s nest? What are the white mini-balls? And why people paint the mistletoe with gold or silver color? Isn’t green good enough for holiday’s decoration?

My mother patiently explained to me that the mistletoe grows high in the trees, so it’s not easy to get it. It symbolizes happiness, health and prosperity, which is also not easy to get. And some people are painting mistletoe silver or gold to increase the probability that it happens.

Much later I learned that mistletoe belongs to the medicinal plants and that people from ancient times attributed extraordinary and even magical qualities to it. I always felt great respect for the mistletoe, but my curiosity was always stopped by the knowledge that this plant is poisonous. Plus there were plenty of other plants I could play with.

Of course I noticed several nests of mistletoe in my neighborhood – high in the trees, difficult to access. Exactly how my mother said. But recently, I found mistletoe on the path, fell down in windy weather. It reminded me, that although happiness or prosperity seems to be far away, sometimes the opportunity falls down right under our feet. Then it depends if we catch it and make use of it.

I picked it from the path, brought it home and drew picture of mistletoe with the bird, responsible for spreading seeds of it. I hope you like it, and I double hope it brings you happiness, health and prosperity as my mother promised 🍀

Happy holidays!

Ivana