The Library is the perfect travel agency - endless destinations and no cost. A quote from Laura Gray.
Image borrowed from Google Images
The library is the center of the community. I know that for our family the library is the center of many warm memories, and it was the center of our little school at home.
I thought about our many memories as I took my walk yesterday. It is now fall, and although the temperature is still warm the colors are changing with yellow flowers and golden grasses.
I walked out of the neighborhood and down the street to our small town library. This is the perfect combination of joy, walking and books. The walk is about 1½ miles. I return my nearly overdue books, meander along the shelves, make my selections and walk back home.
My Great-Aunt lived in an old town in North Carolina, and as a little girl I loved to visit with her. We often walked through town, along the shaded sidewalks to the one main street downtown. Often we would check out books from the little library. It was basically one small room facing the train tracks. We would slowly make our way back to her house, making up stories about the very old houses we passed, or we invented creatures that might live between the exposed roots of the old oak trees. Finally back at her house we would rock on her front porch and look through those books, moving from one level of imagination to another.
In some ways the library is why I became a stay at home mother. I was driving around town just after finding out we were going to be parents for the first time. I drove past the library in another old NC town, and I watched a mother and child walking along the sidewalk carrying their books. Watching them from my car I knew, I felt forcefully, that I wanted to be with my child, exploring ants on the sidewalk, seeing cracks created by tree roots, entering the air-conditioned building and selecting books for the week. I jealously, powerfully wanted this time with my child.
In Georgia we had the best library and we all loved going there. Story hour was such fun, the books chosen were good, well read and engaged the children. Sometimes we had crafts after, always relating to the books or the theme for the hour. We considered story hour followed by park time as important a part of our early school as math and writing.
I remember our first year of homeschool, wandering among the shelves looking at the book titles. My son pulled down a book about bees and sat down to look through it. I asked him, “Would you like to learn more about bees?”
He nodded and I began choosing a variety of books from elementary science to photography to bee poetry. The Children’s Librarian had been watching and she told me I was a good teacher. That tiny bit of encouragement stayed with me through all the educational years.
I have so many memories of driving home from the library visits loaded down with books, listening to cassettes, or later, CD’s of music from Broadway or from other countries and of different musical styles. We would all be full of the feeling of adventure, or better, the cusp of adventure. At home we would eagerly pour through the books, not even sure where we wanted to start. Going to the library is like going on a trip, excited and unsure of what adventure lies ahead. We always leave the library better off than we were before.