I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed by the us/them negativity of our primary season, by the coarse shredding of our social fabric. It is good to be reminded what is right with the world…
I am grateful for my confidence in community.
I’d planned the Open House for our Little Free Library as a way to remind people we were there, to catch the kids before spring break. I had sent out a few emails inviting people to come and donate books, or not. I just hoped they would stop by. Response had been good and I was optimistic that the weather would hold.
The morning before the event, I was tidying the library when a young man tentatively approached. “Do you have any study guides?” he asked. I didn’t think so, nor did I believe I had any in my back-up bins of donated books, but I said I thought they would be a great addition, asked what he wanted, specifically, and promised to put out a special request.
The smile that burst across his face was its own reward.
But even its luminance was overshadowed by the generosity that followed. A neighbor emailed to say she had such a guide and, despite imminent plans to leave the country, would leave it on her porch for easy pick-up as I walked past. A friend who’s also a librarian reminded me that the county library has loaners and produced a brand new study guide that had been donated there. Another friend stopped by just to show support — and then offered to run a study guide drive through his business, tapping the science and research constituency with which he works.
In the mid-March warmth, visitors and books came and went. Friends I hadn’t seen in years stopped by with books in hand. A troika of passing millennials browsed the piles, practically giddy with their finds. A local author biked over and added a signed copy of his latest book to the shelves. A mom from the bus stop marveled that our almost-urban Little Free Library has never been vandalized. We munched on fresh-baked cookies one loyal supporter brought with her books. I assured an enthusiastic first grader that yes, we’d do this again, soon.
We put ourselves out there and the universe responds. I am grateful.
Life Lesson #38: We put ourselves out there and the universe responds.