Taking a step away from our usual posts, I wanted to talk about something I saw earlier this week that truly touched my heart in more ways than one, and shed a tear in the privacy of my own home.
Without getting into too much detail in setting up the scene (I know, I am going against my own advice on this one), I live in a very urban area by the coast of the Long Island Sound where houses must have sprouted from the ground like wildflowers. To set this up a bit further, my neighbor owns the home next to my apartment where he spent some time outside building what I thought was a bird house.
It’s not a rarity to see younger kids walking up and down the block in packs in my neighborhood, but there was one group that for some reason really caught my eye. One night, as I pulled into my driveway after a day’s worth of work I saw a group of adolescent girls bickering and laughing with each other as they headed up the avenue. They were singing a song released before their time and one girl kept saying, “That song is so annoying!”
One girl held a basketball under her arm and stopped at the birdhouse. Her friends kept walking as she fell behind. I then began to realize it wasn’t a bird house – but a free little library. She peered in through both glass doors, opened it up and pulled a couple out to examine the covers, read the summaries, and truly admired the weight of the chosen ones.
Her friends had made it a couple houses down and turned around to see where the girl was. They yelled down the street, “What are you doing? I thought we were going to play.” She held a book in her hand, closed the doors to the library, and ran towards her friends. They heckled her for grabbing a book, but she kept smiling down at what she picked.
In that moment – I couldn’t help but feel full of happiness and love because the universe restored my faith in the beauty of literacy.
Lovely. Books should make them smile (or cry, or rail, or resolve…)