Reflections on life from other side of pond
As I experience another first on this journey called life, in a country far away, I cannot help but reflect upon the past. A childhood dream has become reality at the wonderful age of 54. Or is it 55? I stopped counting the years after reaching 40.
My dream began on the streets in Leicester; specifically the library on Narborough Road.
You see, my favourite hangout was not the black pad, or Michael's fish and chip shop or Penny Park (though Penny Park was high on my list of favourite places as I had opportunities to walk dogs to my heart's content, always returning them to their generous owners, who indulged a child's desire).
Where was I? Oh yes, immersed in the pages of books within the embrace of a building that stimulated all my senses.
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I can still conjure up the smell and sounds of the public library, the smell of wood. The sound of the steps protesting beneath my feet, the sensation and sound of pages as I eagerly skimmed each book, and the disapproving look of the librarian if I coughed too loud or, even worse, sneezed; one eye on the clock, in order to meet my curfew.
After all, I did not want to face a consequence if returning home late, always fearing a grounding. You see, I had 10 minutes to walk to the library from my home on Equity Road, 10 minutes to select books, and 10 minutes to return home.
How I savoured each 10 minute block.
The first in anticipation of what was awaiting me, the second minutes being immersed and filled, the third hurrying home ready to read and be transported who knows where.
How did I develop this love and joy of libraries, books, and reading? I am not sure. Perhaps in Lewis' on Santa's lap with a book clutched in my gloved hand and a wide smile on my face?
What I am sure of is that I have a desire to give back by creating opportunities for joyful encounters.
And this desire has come true. I am privileged to have co-authored and published a pre-school book supporting imaginative thinking in children and the development of literacy and language skills. How joyful I am to know that "Imagine" is just waiting to be actively explored by eager hands and minds.
Will someone look back many years from now and reflect on the moment a love and passion for reading was born?
Marija Katic is an author who lives in Stoney Creek, Canada.