Contentment with Little Things
Reading that book with the peculiar orange cover that winter night was like talking with an old friend, one who knows you well enough to finish your sentences. I felt like Helen Hoover had covered many miles by my side, if not physically at least emotionally.
Fortunately, I had learned that books can provide friends when I was still a very young child, although I would not have phrased my appreciation of books quite that way. As a shy young girl, I had found friends in books and had gratefully escaped into the pages of “Black Beauty”, virtually every book in the “Black Stallion” series, “White Fang”, “Call of the Wild”, “Beautiful Joe”, ”Little Women”, and dozens of others.
As an even shyer adolescent, books grew in importance in my life. While I did have some friends and did participate in some activities, my greatest pleasure was always the safe solitude of reading a good book.
Making Much of Little
This passion for reading helped, of course, with grades but most of all, it soothed the loneliness that accompanies painful shyness. And it did, indeed, provide friends, especially as I began to identify favorite authors, topics, and genres.
As a newly divorced single parent, this love of reading led me to self-help books that started the healing of damaged emotions, a healing that began to be completed when I finally went to counseling. But my favorite book of all, after I gave my heart to Jesus, was the Bible. Here, I found true friendship, comfort and all the love I could absorb.
Yes, love of reading was a priceless gift that had served me well for all my life. On that chilly Florida night, so long ago now, reading gave me as much pleasure as Cinderella must have felt at the ball.
I walked the five steps to the kitchen, refilled my chipped brown bowl of crackers, and snuggled back under the scraggy blue blanket.
The winter wind whooshed between the long row of apartment buildings, paused, then whooshed again. Each rushing gust tapered off to a low, eerie moan. The top of the kitchen vent pipe clanked as it fell back in place after each onslaught abated. Florida was rarely that cold, and the weather helped me identify even more with the Hoovers in their Minnesotta cabin. I smiled and started another chapter, as content as I could possibly be.