“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow is my all time favorite poet. I am sure that it is related to the fact that my father used to read his works to me as a child. My father has the most beautiful deep gentle velvety voice. One I have always found comfort in hearing. Even as an adult I can recite Longfellow’s “Village Blacksmith” from heart. My father read it to me as it was a favorite at bedtime. And to read the poem now as an adult, I can see why I loved it. To me, it reflects the strong work ethic and unbreakable family ties that I value in life.
When I read the poetry of Longfellow now, I can still hear the lilt of my father’s voice. The comfort of the familiar words. The smell of the worn book from which he read. Books were always valued in my home growing up, but the large volume of Longfellow was one that I gravitated toward.
Growing up in a large family, books were passed around. Most often purchased used, we had book cases full of amazing books. And we were all encouraged to be readers. Heaven forbid any of us go to my mother and say we were “bored”. Those words drove us directly to the book shelves with a stern warning from mother to read! And read we did.
Wellness is about balancing the mind, body, and spirit. Reading certainly feeds all three! I will forever be grateful to my parents for instilling a love of reading, words, and books in me. It is a value in my own home that hopefully I am passing in some way to my own children.
Don’t waste another moment. Head to the book store. Go to the library. READ! Summer has some lazy moments built in, so take advantage of that and start reading. I call reading “theater of the mind”. Feed your mind. Let your spirit soar. Move your body when it is motivated by a particular author.
Better yet, grab a book that will bring you back to happy times, valued moments, cherished memories. As an adult, I have re-read many books from my youth. And they are completely different to read as an adult, which is so exciting. I was obligated to read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school. I read it again as an adult, and even discussed it with the ladies in my book club. It was completely different to not only read it as an adult, but to discuss it.
Gifts in life come in many packages. Memories, music, nature, a kiss. And yes, books! What is your favorite?