Note: My grand-daughter just celebrated her 13th birthday. I know, I know. I didn’t think I was old enough to have a thirteen year old grand child…and I’m not. Not really. But while My Reader debates the above “not old enough” statement, please read the letter I sent to My So Little on her Special Day. (My apologies. It is longer than usual.) However, as a favour, a small favour, please stretch-out and un-limit your normal to short attention span. Just for a few. It’s important and not for a few but for many.
Yes, they’ll know who…
It was on the Wednesday. A Wednesday of the usual Portland winter weather: rain and more rain. Not the sprinkle kind of rain but the downpour kind of rain that makes life with a dog who doesn’t like to get wet but needs daily walks…more than difficult.
Wednesday weather: full on wet.
List: Dog park, grocery items, library book, back home.
Dog: Fashion-purple yet dashing feminine and smart rain jacket securely in place.
Self: Heavy-duty rubber construction-worker bright orange Helly Hansen snapped in place. Not dashing. Not feminine.
Self-looks like a road repair person but with library book underneath arm with dog, dog leash, handbag, car keys, and grocery list in hand.
Car: Now loaded with all of the above.
Ready. Set. Go.
Still Wednesday weather: No let-up.
Dog Park: Dog not wanting to get out of car but, finally, business at hand gets the better of. Business #One done and done. Business #Two not going to happen. Too windy. Too cold. Much too wet. Dog wants to get back in-car. Dog and Self soaked and cold, with Self realizing another prolonged exposure to wind, cold, wet because of [now] definite need to revisit dog park for completion of dog Business #Two. Dog happy. Self: not so much.
Weather: Still no let-up. No kidding. Still pouring.
Move on to Grocery: Shop, shop, and shop. Done. Done and done.
Back to car. Dog happy to see me.
Self: Spy book to return to library. Back cover now reduced to bits of paper.
Dog: So happy to see me.
Self: Not so happy. Still looking at non-existent back cover of book. Speechless.
Dog: Still happy to see me.
Self: Still speechless but beginning to slowly and softly emit sounds that resembles swear noise.
To Library: cancelled.
More Wednesday weather: More wind. Colder. Wetter.
Back to Dog Park: Dog in back of car with paper-bits of book cover sticking to lower lip. Dog does Business #Two in record time. Dog runs to car.
Dog: So happy to be home. Self: _____leaving blank__________
Self: Call library. Tell “dog ate the book” story.
Librarian: Laughs the “of course dog ate the book” laugh. Send check. Please.
Self: What about dog? Please?
Librarian: No. Keep dog. Just send check.
THE BOOK STORY ABOUT THE BOOK:
“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
Your visit, So Little, was going to take us on an adventure to Powell’s Bookstore where I was going to buy you this book. The weather and road conditions between California and Oregon being what it was, our Christmas present to each other was cancelled. So I put a Plan B in place and have sent your present via post.
The librarian didn’t need the book returned. Therefore, I’m giving you Z-Z’s attempt at making a contribution to your literary knowledge. The cover may be a wee-bit damaged but the words contained between the front and back cover remain powerful.
The book is historical fiction based on the lives of two sisters who lived in North Carolina during the mid-1800s, and who did not embrace slavery…even though they were given slaves as birthday presents when they “became of age”. The Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, lived and fictionally recount their lives in a society where women had no voice…and chose to make a voice for themselves…and many others as the story progresses. They became the first female abolitionist agents (those who fought against the practice of slavery), but also because of their having to speak publicly to large groups…became among the earliest major American feminist thinkers. They believed their causes just and true. They persevered under the most dire conditions and at great personal peril.
It is a wonderful story about following your dreams…because it is also the story of Sarah’s slave Handful, the slave given to Sarah on her birthday. Each chapter is an accounting of Sarah’s life and Handful’s life. In short: they both had dreams and never let their dreams be lost to the harsh reality of their time. Hard fought.
I would say to you, My So Little, on your 13th birthday, that you are going to have many dreams between now and…. all your tomorrows. Stay true and just to those dreams. Make them happen for you even if they may appear out of reach…or too difficult to achieve…or against the tide of what others think is best or right for you.
Stay true and just to yourself. The best is just waiting to happen. It will become a reality if you persevere and make it so.
Note: May we discover our wings this 2016 New Year and soar…