You don’t aways know which choices you make and actions you take will “pay off.”
In my experience, there are a few that are absolutely sure bets, no regrets choices.
And they are volunteering with friends, neighbors, and other community members to create spaces to welcome everyone in the community to come together to play, to learn, to celebrate, and to work on accomplishing goals that serve needs greater than your own.
I am feeling a lot of gratitude these days for all the gifts and opportunities I have in my life. As we head into Thanksgiving weekend in the the US, I don’t want the frenzy of sales to overshadow this opportunity to reflect on the Ferguson decision, and critical questions of racism and inequality in the world and what actions we can take.
What I am so grateful for at this moment in time:
That I have plenty.
A garden of abundance. I can fill my belly, quench my thirst, keep warm and lay down my head when I need without worry.
That I have choices.
So many choices about how I use my time, how I relate to my loved ones, my community, strangers. I have choices about how I parent and relate to my child, how to learn, what I want to pursue at this point in life and how I want to do it. Continue reading “Gratitude and Hope”
My love affair with libraries started when I was very young.
I grew up in a town with a library housed in a section of a big fancy estate that had been donated to the town.
It had giant leaded glass windows, window seats, balconies, nooks and crannies and a beautiful children’s room which opened to a back garden maze.
Every space was filled with books, multicolored doors to explore the world and imagination.
I spent many blissful hours reading and daydreaming.
I still find myself wandering this library in my dreams.
My childhood library was a refuge and a bridge to opportunities.
Whenever I could, I escaped the chaos at home and rode my rusty red bike to hide in the peace and possibility the library offered. The librarians engaged and encouraged.
They noticed me.
“We have a special program tomorrow, do you want to come?”
“Look, here’s another mystery you might like.”
“Oh, did you know we have an entire room filled with travel books, come on I’ll show you where it is.”
“Hey, Lisa, we just got this brand new book on scholarships. Take a look.”
Expanding my library love.
When I went off to Duke ( I got those scholarships from the book), I explored every library on campus. It was one of the smaller libraries that I kept returning to for quiet study and solace when I needed it. When I moved to Seattle I couldn’t believe the wealth of offerings and variety in the neighborhood branches and in the big downtown central library. I was hooked. Libraries were my frugal but fun destination.
Of course, when we moved to Winters the library was almost our first stop. We got involved in the local Friends of the Library group. The library is a great first point of connection in any new place. We went for books and left with a new community of friends and service. Our volunteer work has helped us even more than it helped the library.
When I taught, I always took my students on class visits to introduce them to the added support and life long learning opportunities the library provides. I made “go to the library to check out any book you like” a weekly homework assignment.
When we were unschooling the library was a best bet for resources and a great location for gatherings with other learners. We could always get out of the house and relax while getting giant stacks of books on any new topics that caught our interest. For free.
Visiting the local library is now part of my itinerary no matter where I go. Tiny or massive, ancient or modern I visit libraries even if I only can pop in for a few minutes. I love to poke my nose in and see what’s happening.
Comparing, getting new ideas, learning.
I check all the rooms, book, displays, Friends Book Sale area, sitting areas. I love to get the sense and feel of each place to see what great ideas they have that I can bring home. I soak it all in and get my library high.
I guess you could say my childhood library was my gateway drug to a life of literacy, learning and love. Love of books, friends, discovery and connection.
I am sure that my library changed my direction in life. Sometimes I feel like it saved my life.
Please help me support my local library. In my small town library, the warmth of the staff, programs for toddlers to teens, and free access to books, the internet and information are also transforming lives.