in a book

December 4, 2012

Who knew? It turns out that the word “banana,” when spoken in the middle of a picture book, is an inordinately hilarious word. Or at least for the little ones in my library today it was. I found myself having difficulty maintaining my own composure in the middle of my performance-like reading, as I watched a roomful of 5-year-olds literally rolling on the floor as they laughed. I almost felt guilty for allowing such entertainment in the middle of a school day. Then I decided that I most certainly did not feel guilty about it, for several reasons.
For one, the students were repeating sounds after me as I read, and demonstrated, the words to them, which is, I believe, a very effective method for language learning [more so than rote recitations that lack context]. Secondly, I know that the education offered at this school is quite top-notch, and demanding; I am inclined to see my role, at least for the little ones, as one of building in them a desire to spend time in the library [i.e. making the time fun for them]. Finally, I’m afraid there are just too many ways in which life itself is pretty dark here, with school oftentimes being a bright spot of joy in the lives of the children. So I just don’t mind being a part of that brightness, if I can.
Along the lines of brightness, one patch of brightness for me, over the past year and a half, has been watching the sun rise and set from my rooftop spot of peace. This morning was no exception, with a particularly amazing melding of the white of the snow, the blue of the sky, and the pink of the clouds. Watching it, the tears that have begun to frequent my life started up again. I have grown to love this place, in spite of it all, and in spite of myself. How did that happen? More likely, it is not the place I grew to love. I fell in love with the people in my life here, and so now that love has expanded into a love of the place. Lord have mercy on me as I transition on from here. May that love overflow in me to make for a meaning-filled departure, and for a hope-filled new home.

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