I was around five years old when I first met Heidi across a television screen. She was exactly my age and just as adorable. Heidi used to be my lunchtime favorite, and I’m sure many 90s kids can relate to my sentiments when it comes to her. Recently I purchased the ‘Puffin in Bloom’ (by Johanna Spyri) collection of classics from Amazon; the books are most beautifully designed by Anna Bond (an artist and the creative Director of Ripple paper co.) I have to admit that revisiting the adventures of our beloved childhood heroine, concealed within such gorgeous creation, brings a distinguished joy to my heart altogether.
Reading Heidi in my late twenties bound me in weaves of nostalgia and wiser interpretations. Be as it may, a simple children’s tale, the reason that Heidi resonates with almost everyone who has ever picked up the book is that it strikes a chord with our own personal struggles and a deeper understanding of why at the end of the day, hardships are good for us. It teaches us about the purpose of faith and being far-sighted when seeking justice from a higher power or demanding a flood of light to lift us from our darkness. Despite our most intense attempts, difficult times last because they’re supposed to leave us as better individuals. The book left me with an intangible sense of stronger belief, like a fresh flush of positivity I poured into my cup of a horrible year.
Heidi is the story of an orphan little girl whose aunt has raised her for about five years. In order to sustain their livelihood, her aunt De De has never really been able to spend much time with her. For most of her early years, Heidi has spent inside four walls and in utter lack of a healthy routine. One day De De finally decides that she will not let go of an excellent job opportunity in Frankfurt on account of Heidi; she figures out another home for Heidi and drops her off at her estranged Grandfather, Uncle Alp.
After the passing of his only son and daughter-in-law, Uncle Alp had long abandoned society and chose to live away from the town, up in the mountains. He bore the ill reputation of being uncivil and rude to whoever crossed his path and no longer even bothered to go to the town church. Despite the unwanted intrusion on his lone and peaceful life, Uncle Alp accepted Heidi warmly into his home, a cozy little cottage just enough for the two of them.
Heidi soon built a home for herself in the cottage attic, and for the first time, she had a true family with her Grandfather, their stable goats, and Peter. Peter, the town goat herder boy, ran the errand of feeding Uncle Alp’s goats in addition to the rest of the town’s; he took them to the mountain tops where the grass was fresher. Heidi would go with Peter and the goats on a new adventure amidst the wildflowers and sunkissed mountains every day. Heidi fell ecstatically in love with her new life, the delicious milk, the homemade cheese, Peter’s friendship, and above all, her family with her Grandfather.
Soon Heidi met Peter’s family, where Heidi was like a ray of light for his old Granny, who had long been living without sight. This little girl carried an aura of kindliness wherever she went, and whoever she met could not help growing fond of her. Her presence in the lonely and self banished existence of Uncle Alp gave a purpose to his life, and for the first time in years, he felt alive. Hedi, too, was happy with every breath she took in the mountains.
Right when she had built a universe around her in the mountains, her aunt De De arrived and deceitfully took Heidi away with her to work at a house in Frankfurt as a companion of a disabled girl. This was when Heidi’s world turned upside down; everything she had known and loved was now lost to her. Her mountains had disappeared from before her eyes and were now replaced with motorcars and a world of concrete buildings. Every day she longed to breathe the mountain air again and cried herself to sleep, waiting and praying to go back home.
I found myself longing for my own Grandmother and my childhood nights of staying up late listening to the stories she made up only for me. I could never have predicted that a little girl’s tale could have so many layers to it. The incidents that happen to her henceforth and take her on a journey of self-discovery and growth and the way her path changes so many other lives is an exceptional experience to be had by the reader. Like me, you, too, will find yourself connecting the dots and having faith over every other emotion in whatever you may be pursuing in life right now. This is just the feeling I want to be left with after a good read. You can get the book here! 📖
Heidi (Puffin in Bloom)
I was around five years old when I first met Heidi across a television screen. She was exactly my age and just as adorable. Heidi used to be my lunchtime favorite, and I'm sure many 90s kids can relate to my sentiments when it comes to her. Recently I purchased the 'Puffin in Bloom' (by Johanna Spyri) collection of classics from Amazon; the books are most beautifully designed by Anna Bond (an artist and the creative Director of Ripple paper co.) I have to admit that revisiting the adventures of our beloved childhood heroine, concealed within such gorgeous creation, brings a distinguished joy to my heart altogether.
Author: Johanna Spyri
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