Every Friday morning I devour the paper, looking for news in the Webster-Kirkwood Times. Now we live in neither Webster Groves nor Kirkwood, but the paper covers those big two and then some small crumbs like Rock Hill. Actually, we may be the most insignificant of the crumbs, because we’re notoriously missing from any pages. But this morning I found a story that could have been a Rock Hill news story. It’s small town news at its finest, and one of those stories that will lighten your heart for the rest of the day.
In fact, it is such small news that I found it in the ‘Mailbag’, the corner of the paper filled with opinions and suggestions from readers, ranging from ‘my energy bill was raised by $11.25’ to ‘iPads are frying our children’s brains’ (these are not jokes, but two highlights of this week). Right in between all these signs of a pending apocalypse*, there is a glimmer of hope. A short story so innocent that it will make you once again believe in things you once thought were lost forever. As I think its poetry will be lost in summarizing it, here’s the entire story:
Rekindling The Joy Of Reading – A true story by E. F.**
After an unexpected absence from my “desire to read”, I rejoined the Kirkwood Public Library. I was stumped when I tried to remember a particular author I had enjoyed. To my delight, when I mentioned my quest of a particular author, MB enthusiastically joined in the search. After some questions and answers, 0ur search was over and novels were in my hands. A few weeks passed and I returned with my 92-year-old father. Behind the desk was MB. She led us to my father’s book in question with the same enthusiasm as I had enjoyed during my previous visit. So, kudos to MB. To library patrons, when in doubt ask for Ms. B and enjoy the visit.
I don’t know about you, but I have tears streaming down my face. Finally, some hope in my life. First of all, it proves that good readers make good writers. No details are left untouched, and it’s almost as if I’m walking through the library myself, trying to keep my voice down to not disturb the blonde five-year-old girl who is moving her index finger across the page as her lips move with the words, while her mother is secretly moving towards the smutty romance section. I look for answers to the librarian’s questions, that we may find that book! And then the joy when it’s in my hands….
Of course, if you want to be cynical, you may say that Ms. B was just doing her job. Or that joining the library is free of charge, so why EF left in the first place could raise some questions. Or that if you visit the same library twice, there is a reasonable chance to meet the same librarian. I bet EF didn’t even conduct a purely scientific experiment by visiting the library at very different times. But when I think of these cynical remarks, I am reminded what someone who wasn’t Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”
* Speaking of apocalypse, what does the Bible say about Nicholas Cage starring in an apocalyptic movie?
** I’ve decided to change the full names to initials.