the puzzle and excitement of everything he didn’t know

And yet, even as he thought of all these things, he noticed somehow that the sky was a lovely shade of blue and that one cloud had the shape of a sailing ship.  The tips of the trees held pale, young buds and the leaves were a rich deep green.  Outside the window, there was so much to see, and hear, and touch – walks to take, hills to climb, caterpillars to watch as they strolled through the garden.  There were voices to hear and conversations to listen to in wonder, and the special smell of each day.

And, in the very room in which he sat, there were books that could take you anywhere, and things to invent, and make, and build and break, and all the puzzle and excitement of everything he didn’t know – music to play, songs to sing, and worlds to imagine and then someday make real.  His thoughts darted eagerly about as everything looked new – and worth trying.

“Well, I would like to make another trip,” he said, jumping to his feet; “but I really don’t know when I’ll have the time.  There’s just so much to do right here.”

– Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

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  1. Posted January 2, 2015 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I love this passage!

    admin Reply:

    Thanks! Me too xox

  2. Posted January 2, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year Lindsey! How I love the quotes and passages you share here. This one, today, in particular. A fitting moment, as this new year begins, to say thank you for the space you create and the way you welcome your readers into your life. Blessings to you and yours in 2015 my friend!

    admin Reply:

    Thank YOU, so, so much. What an immensely kind thing to say. Hope to see you soon. xox

  3. Posted January 2, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    One of my childhood favorites! Every child should read “The Phantom Tollbooth.”

    admin Reply:

    Whit blazed through it in a day. Couldn’t put it down. I agree with you 100%!

  4. Posted January 2, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink


    I love the sentiments layered in this passage. To honor the ordinary and to also possess a contentment about it – what a necessary reminder. Thank you. xo

    admin Reply:

    Yes. Exactly. That’s what I got, too. Happy new year! xox

  5. Posted January 2, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t heard someone mention The Phantom Tollbooth in years. What a flashback. And what a fantastic quote you’ve pulled from this–love it!

    admin Reply:

    It is such a magical book! Whit was entirely swept away by it.

  6. Posted January 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I love this. It reminds me of how my grandfather lived, delighted and fascinated by everything from the Old Testament to Wimbledon and the promise of bacon at breakfast. May we all find ourselves with a new dusting of wonder this year. xo

    admin Reply:

    Yes, yes, to dustings of wonder. xoxo

  7. Posted January 5, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Oh! I can’t wait until my boys are old enough for this! And that passage is such a nice reminder for myself, as well.