“When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness.” – Vincent Starrett
On a recent afternoon out, I found myself wandering in a thrift store (cue The Thrift Store Song!) The book section at this store is a particular weakness of mine, featuring all titles for a quarter (a quarter! Just a measly quarter and you have a new book!) I picked up a John Grisham novel, two Newberry Award winners to add to the kids’ shelf, and a cool looking old book that I thought would look good with the oldish books on my piano.
I headed home with my little pile of books and ended up cracking this one open to find it was an anthology of poems, stories, and quotes.
Now I’ve never been a big poetry person. I can appreciate a line here and there, admire a well phrased verse or flowing rhyme, but I don’t really read it. Until this book.
And it really is a book of beautiful things.
Here are a few of my favorites:
by Karle WIlson Baker
Some days my thoughts are just cocoons- all cold, and dull, and blind,
They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind.
And other days they drift and shine- such free and flying things!
I find the gold dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings.
Opening line of the poem “Good Company”, by Karle Wilson Baker
Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees…
|…or the chickens. Whichever.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” -Shakespeare
“You have greatly ventured, but all must do so, who would greatly win.” -Byron
“A task without a vision is drudgery; a vision without a task is a dream; a task with a vision is victory.” – Anonymous
“I hope that I shall never tire
Of watching colors in the fire…”- Mildred Bowers Armstrong, “I Hope”
“Happy he who dares courageously to defend what he loves.”- Ovid
I’m not sure what it is about this particular summer, but it has robbed me of my mental energy. I can’t seem to stick with meaty books, engage non-fiction, or even crack the classics that I so enjoy. But maybe summer is a time for poems, a time for words to rhyme and flow and linger long, like the sunsets in July.
Or maybe our souls are more in tune with what we need, and maybe there are seasons where souls can override our habits, can cry out for something that will sustain us differently.
So as for me, I’m downing the occasional novel (like this and this and this) but taking the reading easy. School’s coming fast, kids are sprouting quick, and the long days of summer will not last long.
Here’s to finding what works for you in this season of your own summer.
I’ll leave you with one last poem.
Richard Watson Gilder
Not from the whole wide world I chose thee,
Sweetheart, light of the land and sea!
The wide, wide world could not inclose thee,
For thou art the whole wide world to me.