The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short

My friend Gretchen Rubin, who created a very touching three minute video titled The Days Are Long, But the Years Are Short about riding the bus with her daughter (all parents should watch it), returns to this phrase in a recent post about the author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

She says happiness is listening to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books on audio CD with her four year old daughter. Here’s the last page of Little House in the Big Woods, emphasis my own:


When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called out softly, “What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?”

“They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,” Pa said. “Go to sleep, now.”

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa’s fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, “This is now.”

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

My Mom read all the Little House books to me growing up. My favorite is Farmer Boy which I’ve read several times.


Here’s Gretchen on why you should keep a one-sentence daily journal.

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