But how do you say no to a visit to the library?
Last month Breana did go through her bookshelves. Much to my dismay, she took out her animal story books and Pony Club books to sell at their Yard Sale. I reassured her that it was okay to keep them (you know, to remember her childhood!) but she reassured me that it wasn't necessary to keep them. (Is she my child?) I should have taken that as a sign of change. Oh she still loves animals, especially horses, she can watch Animal Planet on tv all day if she was allowed...just wasn't necessary to keep the books. A stack of the animals books went to a good home; our neighbor across the street bought them for her granddaughter who's room Kaitlin & Breana now call their own - cute, huh?
So off to the library we went. It was a good morning, there was one parking spot available under the shade of a tree in the 10 slot free parking in the back of the library. Gotta love free parking!
Breana scoured and examined books. She, like me, judges by the cover & spine of books :} so she'd slide a book off the shelf, run her hand across the cover, read the title, test to see if the cover pleased her and either moved on or returned the book back to its place and sigh. This went on for awhile until she had a stack of 4 books (as did her cousin, Kylie.) Merely, appetizers for a few days.
On our way out I took a spin around the low table displaying the new books and spied this one.
The cover was very pleasing to my eye and the title reminded me of the year my friends & I gathered once a week - my stagnant year, I call it. As soon as we got home, we retreated to corners in the front room and read. Time wasn't on our side - Breana had to get to soccer practice. She read while getting dressed, she read in the car on the way to the soccer field, she even read until the Coach pulled up in his truck - she wasn't a bit tempted to go out and juggle/pass with her teammates. I felt bad for her when she had to put her book down, for a little bit...I stayed since I was parked in the shade and read for 2 hours. Sweet luxury!
What a beautifully written book.
I walked away from the book with manymany thoughts & emotions.
One was appreciating the kindness & pure existence of my friends.
The other was what I hope to be teaching my children and even what I still have to remind myself from time to time: we all have our own stories. When I come across a nasty-hateful person on the street or a rude Cashier/disinterested Sales Clerk, I take a deep breath and say a quick prayer for that person. I pray that their troubles will be resolved and that they'll seek comfort & peace in all that is good. I pray that their pain & agony will subside so that they can go through their day in happiness. I think of the months I spent with chronic back pain where I couldn't muster a thank you or a smile - where all I needed to do was get quickly from point A to point B and everything in between that crossed my path either intentionally or just happenstance received a glare to remove their existence from my sight. Deep down inside where pain did not exist, I would hope that they would understand that I was not my usual self, that I was in excrutiating pain and did not hate the world.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle" - Plato
Be kind, be gentle, be sympathetic - don't react to what people say or do that hurts or bothers you. Remember that they're fighting their own battles and what is really needed is the kindness & understanding of others.
If we all were a group of friends "knitting" together, we'd have the comfort of a smile from across the room and the promise of a beautiful project in the end.
While "The Knitting Circle" touches beyond what I walked away from, this is what I took from it. I'll return the book before it's due, I will, really I will. I have to, I borrowed it on Breana's library card!