I’ve been working for months moving the books from my small study in a nook in our bedroom into what used to be my sewing studio.
Today I asked myself where this passion for books came from and remembered a time when I was about six years old.
I was kneeling in front of a bookshelf that lined a wall at the back of the room in the country school I attended on the prairie of Nebraska. Mrs. Rauscher, my teacher, taught about 20 students – spanning kindergarten to 8th grade – in one room. Yes, imagine a one-room schoolhouse.
The class day was over. I was browsing for another book to take home to read when I felt her behind me. She placed her hand on my shoulder then proceeded to encourage my love of reading. Books, she said are the gift that keeps on giving. Her words must have sank in deeply. Maybe she would be proud that I took her words to heart!
While pondering this memory the phone rang. It was my daughter Melissa. Soon after my other daughter Christina called. The small break was appreciated. I shared my memory with the two of them and they reminded me how the things we love when we are small seem to stay with us.
For Melissa it is the flowers and gardening and the beauty they bring to us. For Christina it is setting a fire in the fireplace after playing in the snow in Colorado with her dad.
I returned to moving books from one room to the other when I found the flip calendar in the photo. I’ve had it for years.
I repeatedly put it in a bag to donate to a thrift store. Then I change my mind.
I realize now that motherhood, my years of mothering four little ones, is more precious than the books from my childhood. Mothering, children, and yes for me, books are gifts that keeps on giving.
Curious now, I wondered what encouraging words this calendar had to say on February 18. Well what do you know!!
What a delight to discover: “What one loves in childhood stays in the heart forever,” by Mary Jo Putney.