I happened to have a meeting at my alma mater and was a bit early so I decided to spend some time in the library.
I don’t think it was a coincidence that while browsing in the children’s literature section I came across this great book: My Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.
As an undergrad I majored in English and took quite a few poetry and women’s literature courses. I loved poetry and felt such a great connection with Dickinson. I remember working part time at the local grocery store and reading Emily Dickinson’s Collected Poems on my breaks.
It’s been over a decade since I sat in this very library reading poetry however I immediately was transported to my days as a literature scholar. While reading through this story of Emily Dickinson’s nephew I was transformed to the days of inspiration, and time to explore authors on such a deep level. Surrounded by books with so much time to spend on contemplation and research. Spending time with such amazing educators with such passion and knowledge. It brought me back to the excitement and eagerness of my early twenties.
As the words on the page come alive through the story they also connect the threads to memories of places and times within my own live. The power of books can come alive in illustrations, messages, morals, historical tales, and even memories.
It makes me think how how many things we read for: to learn something, for enjoyment, because we have to, want to, to become inspired, to laugh, to cry, to remember. What an amazing journey the reader can embark as they open a book. So many places you can be led, so many doors that can be opened, such power, such joy that all starts with a word!