The other day, I was down in our basement. Doing laundry. I have to admit that I am not the most cheerful laundry doer. Especially when I have to go to the basement to do it. But I am thankful that it is the basement… I don’t have to travel to a laundry-mat. Been there done that. I did learn to fold sheets from a friend’s mother once, at a laundry mat. That trick of tucking the corners of fitted sheets together. So something good from the memory of laundry in a public place.
I have been wondering where a particular poetry book is and I looked at the bookshelf that Dave moved to the basement one day while I was at work. It was like looking at my life, that bookshelf. At least, looking at my life for the past 20 years or so.
I love books. I love reading. I have bowed legs from sitting on the floor of the bookmobile when I was in grade school, with my knees together, feet splayed back for hours. I read and read and read. I ruined a number of books by dropping them in the bathtub while sitting in hot water to treat a kidney/bladder condition when I was young. When I am interested in a subject, I love to read about it.
The books on the shelf downstairs are organized (of course). One shelf is the best of the leadership and experiential education approaches I was a student and teacher of at The Woods Retreat & Training Center, 1994 – 2004. Activities, theories, equipment, regulations, philosophies of the training industry. All there. Along with some related inspirational titles.
Then, there is the spiritual growth shelf. Bible studies, classics, translations of the Scriptures, a commentary. And some leadership related books along the same lines. I love stories so there are stories there. Lives changed. Marriages saved. God at work. My work as wife of a pastor was never one I took lightly. Influencing lives required study and knowledge and experience.
And there is a shelf I call my corporate shelf. It is full of amazing titles and authors on leadership and concrete character input. My focus those 5 years when I was in the corporate world was to train and coach and be the best person—as an example and a leader. It is probably why I am no longer there. I could never make the two become one and simply could not believe that the corporate mindset and competition was more important than the reality of who I am.
I think the poetry book I am looking for is in the barn at the river property. Hopefully not too mouse-eaten to find the poem I am trying to locate. That box of books (if it is there), will take me on another journey of time when I get there.
Books organized, tell a bit of my story. They remind me of where I have been; the journey I am on that I could never have imagined. That journey defines who I am now and where I am headed if I can avoid getting stuck, looking back.
Glean and reap. Remember and choose. Give thanks.
Be ready for what is now and what is coming.