” . . . I lay there and I thought about how life was like a Littmus Lozenge, how the sweet and the sad were all mixed up together and how hard it was to separate them out.” – Because of Winn Dixie by Katie DiCamillio
Some years ago I bought the movie Because of Winn Dixie not knowing that it was a novel by author Katie DiCamillio. I fell in love with this story immediately. The movie is beautifully cast; the story unfolds effortlessly and before you know it, you’re right there in Watley with India Opal and Gloria Dump and that huge dog with the grin, Winn Dixie.
This year Jonah and I began delving into chapter books. Sitting quietly and listening to a story with no pictures is a skill that a six-year-old boy must develop over time. I am so proud of Jonah that he listens so intently now. After finishing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Beezus & Ramona, Jonah chose Because of Winn Dixie.
I had no idea how much this story would resonate with the both of us. For a boy who has experienced so much sadness, it has been neat to watch him take in the story of a little girl with her own her share of sadness who is loving and compassionate, and who with the help of a ginormous dog, brings a community of people together to remember how to grieve and rejoice with one another.
It’s so true, isn’t it, that the sweet and the sad are all mixed together. Solomon was wise when he said, “There is . . . a time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4. It dawned on me tonight as I was getting the kids ready for bed, as they laughed with one another, as Lyla leaned over to her baby sister and said, “I wov you Sissy ” . . . that the sadness is fading into the background. I am beginning to feel like this is my time to dance. This is my time to laugh.