The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
October 23, 2021
We are all time travelers. We travel daily through time in our lives, one minute after another, one day at a time that grows to weeks and months into years. We also have opportunities to go back in time. It does not take a time machine or any complicated equipment. Just a memory, a photo or a book travels us back.
With a book series like “The Thorn Birds’’ by Colleen McCullough, published in 1977, we can view the years 1915 to 1969 with the Cleary family through their forced immigration from Ireland to the Australian outback. Once living in that sprawling and sometimes brutal country, the family eventually tames a piece of that land. The land brings wealth and power, and with that, both joy and grief.
By the time the reader meets the more recent members of the family and gets caught up within the tragedies and victories of the Cleary clan mid-20th century, one has traveled 54 years. It is worth going back to read this series if you missed it when first published, or read again. It is a good and gritty read from a past time showcasing how family histories develop, day by day, month by month, year by year. A portrait and portal in time.
“The Sunstone Brooch: Time Travel Romance” by Katherine Lowry Logan is one of a series of her Celtic Brooch stories. In this the 11th book, Logan starts the reader off in a 21st century east coast setting, where Ensley Williams is dressing for a dinner date. Finding her mother’s sunstone brooch in her jewelry box, she fingers the stone while reading the Celtic engraving on the back and is enveloped into a peat-scented swirling gray fog, landing in the Dakota Badlands of 1885.
With no cell signal, in a land not yet dotted with ranches and cities or even small towns, Ensley must use her skills to survive the wilderness until she finds some kind of civilization. James Cullen, her dinner date, has previous experience with the mystical brooches and time travel and deems it his responsibility to go back in time and save his friend Ensley. But legend says that one finds their true love in the process. Does he really want to find true love?
Many well known children’s books deal with time travel, as well. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis, takes the reader back and forth in time as war ravages the present world. Or are the new worlds they explore real, and their own world fantasy? It is exciting to experience the Narnia adventures with the Pevensie children Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. These stories offer life altering lessons with much wisdom embedded in their deeper layers.
“The Little House on the Prairie” books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder reflects her real family saga starting in 1894 Wisconsin, ending in Mansfield Missouri, 1957. Experienced when the land was untamed and much of it free to settlers willing to tame it, the story of Laura in the Dakota Badlands is a real trip back in time, showcasing to the reader how life in America used to be, with skills like making soap and candles out of need, not fun crafting. They lived simpler but difficult lives and the books example how so much has changed from those years to now.
The “A Wrinkle in Time” series by Madeleine L’Engle is a time travel book where the Murray children must try to save their father engaged in secret scientific government work after he suddenly disappears. “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll takes the reader into a story where, when Alice returns, no time has passed at all, revealing the mystical aspects of time itself. Neil Gaiman gives us “Coraline” who steps through a hidden doorway into a world that seems better than hers. But is it? This book always shows up in October, its strangeness fitting during Halloween festivities, with a crack in time itself.
In today’s world, we seem bound to time through dates, calendars, work, school and family obligations. They say these occupations ground us. But do they bind us, as well? Many wish for more free time to do as they please, explore their interests and some enjoy immersing themselves in a good book about all sorts of times, past, present and future.
We can learn from the past and we can dream and fantasize about the future and imagine a mysterious unknown. If you had a time machine, would you use it? Travel to see dinosaurs or to the future to see...what? I think the trick about time is to gather enough of it and use it well. We can be in the moment with time and also stretch it out in every direction. Time! Read about it, imagine yourself in it. I hope you have a great time doing so!
*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.