Do you remember when you first learned to read? I don’t remember the date, but I do remember the sensation.
I was five years old, not yet in school. My parents and my sisters had read to me for years, and I loved books already. But I loved most sitting in Daddy’s lap while he read the “funny pages” to me every Sunday. At some point the words in the comic strips suddenly made sense to me before he read them out loud. It was like something clicked in my brain, and there was no going back.
It was like waking up in Wonderland! I read books, newspapers, cereal boxes, signs, anything with print on it. Mother and my sister Sherrie taught me to write, which opened up another world of pleasure. I fell into a world of words, and I’ve never left it since.
How powerful it is to read other people’s stories, thoughts, and feelings–and to express your own! To voyage to worlds you will never see, or that only exist in someone’s imagination! I love movies, photography, theater, and even online games sometimes (I’m struggling not to become an Angry Birds addict). But I rejoice in the magic of words. Emily Dickinson put it best:
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!