A V-formation flock of geese seems to have one member of the group as the leader, but each member takes its turn at the point of the V, leading the way as the others in the formation honk in encouragement. The geese stay together, even when one becomes sick or injured; the group stays with it until it is well enough to continue the journey at its regular pace.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Reflecting on Books at Christmastime
One item very near the top of any list I might draw up of
things for which I'm grateful is my ability to read.Along with that I'm grateful for the
unlimited resources available to me from which to draw my passion for the
printed word.I love bookstores,
libraries, my Kindle, the internet, newspapers, friends and family who share
books, and my own scribbles.
Somehow I got the idea that recuperating would involve a lot
of time to read.Boy was I wrong.
Granted I did read a lot while recuperating from my September knee replacement
surgery, but the pancreatectomy left me too sick to read at first, then shaky
and uninterested, then too busy learning to deal with diabetes, doctor visits,
and fatigue.I must be getting better
because in the last three days I've read The
Ensign cover to cover, two and a half books, and all of the unpublished
authors' entries in the LDSPublishers
Christmas Story Contest.
When my sister who is two years older than me started
school, she came home each day and we played school.She taught me whatever she'd learned that
day.An older brother was having trouble
learning to read so his teacher assigned him to read aloud to someone each day
for a half hour.My busy mother decided
he should read to me.Between my
sister's daily tutoring and my brother's laborious sounding out each word as he
read, I learned to read several years before I was allowed to go to
My mother had a number of children's books which I spent
hours poring over as they ignited my imagination. One of the great tragedies of
my childhood was the flood that swept through our home destroying all of my
mother's books when I was eight.
Some of the most appreciated Christmas gifts I received as I
grew up were books.As I became old
enough to babysit, some of that precious money went for books.When I was twelve I could buy a Trixie Beldon
novel for fifty cents, my entire earnings for tending three small children for
six hours--including washing the family's supper dishes.During the school year I had access to books,
but summers were different.Few towns
allowed children from the outlying farms to have library cards.I will always feel gratitude for an elderly
man who was our neighbor in Montana.He
marched into the Hamilton library and signed a paper to sponsor me and my
siblings so we could have library cards.A high school teacher in a little Idaho town arranged a state library
card for me so that I could check out books by mail from the state library in
Boise. I so appreciated that gesture.
It will be Christmas in just a few days and you can be sure
there will be books among the many surprises under the tree.It has been exciting to watch one of my
daughters experience the publication of her first book and share her pleasure
in successful book signings.And I look
forward to reading my favorite Christmas story; you know the one I mean . . .
the one that begins "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out
a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. . . And
Joseph also went up from Galilee, unto the city of David, which is called
Bethlehem . . .To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with