Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Library Deja Vu

I settled at a table in Neva Lomason Library with the hopes of gathering scattered thoughts. Book One of Peace Makers is writtten, but it's disjointed, fat and clumsy.

As I began jotting notes about arcs and plot points, set up and denouement, I became aware of mothers passing by with young children. Their arms were laden with books, their faces reflected inner contentment and the joy that comes from having one's arms wrapped around the written word.

Neva Lomason Library, Carrollton, GA
Suddenly recognition dawned. These are the same racks, rows and shelves that I drew from as a girl, almost half a century ago. One particularly special rite of passage that came to mind was graduating from the children's section and getting to check out and read books from the adult's.

But I digress. Back to deja vu. Mama with me, my older sister and my younger brother in tow in this same library. You've heard my story about the Villa Rica library. I'd forgotten my experience in this one.

The common denominator was Mama. Every week she would pile us in the car, drive us to the library and let us check out the maximum number of books each. Then the following Saturday, we'd do it all again, returning those five and checking out five more.

I have tears in my eyes and throat now as the realization sinks in. My daddy might've been a genius, and professor-like in his knowledge and common sense, but it was Mama who did the real work, Mama who made sure that our fertile minds had plenty of fodder, Mama who had a deep love for books and passed it on to us.

I don't remember her reading back then, maybe because I was so caught up in me. But later in life, after retirement, she was voracious, poring over the racks at the Madison library, then later, the shelves of the lending library at the retirement village.

Mama, thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

And I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm just now realizing this about you. And I'm sorry I never told you in person.

*stops to blow nose and wipe away tears*

Closing time approaches, as does the end of my battery life. As I wind this down, it occurs to me that I likely didn't come here to gather Peace Maker thoughts at all, though I did accomplish that end.

What I'm really here for is remembrance. And appreciation. And some sort of redemption I don't yet understand.

~ Olivia J. Herrell

4 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks for the shout-out on libraries. (I sorta kinda just did the same thing) and it also sounds like you had a very very smart,loving mama!

Donna Hole said...

Some traditions are a gift themselves, being passed from generation to generation.

.....dhole

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Yvonne, I'll have to skip on over to your place and read it! Thanks so much.

Donna, yes, and this is a great one. I wish I had appreciated this about her before she died, but glad I know no. Good to see you lady, hope all's well out in NoCal!

~ Olivia

Leslie Goldsmith said...

She knows. Didn't Brian show that with Nancy's visit at my session last week?
And I too remember library visits and Miss Linda - the librarian who held story time for the kids for years and years. Yes, it was mom who took us there. I'll have to thank her when I visit in NY later this week.

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