It was Book Day. I found myself in a college book store, with a young man I’ve been helping a bit, getting him started in college, helping him move along a bit in his life, starting something he’s been dreaming about, something that’s scary, too.
The unknown ahead is always a bit scary. Something new, untried, unfamiliar. Even if stepping ahead, out of one’s comfort zone, is a good thing, part of me wants to hold back, be cautious and safe. There is a bit of doubt, “I am not good enough for that.”
Book Day breaks me out of that old cycle, that rut of thinking that I can’t move forward. It is a day overcome with newness, of learning, of growing, getting out of my rut.
I wandered around the aisles, looking at shelves bulging with textbooks on every subject in the college catalog. I have to be careful, or I’d be buying a few for myself. I always find something in a bookstore that I’d like to read, especially if I don’t get graded on what I read. But, I could slip in after the bell, find a seat in the back row, and get myself lost in the lecture, taking notes, feeling the juices in my brain flowing with excitement, all the new ideas.
The student was having fun, too, finding his books, filling up his basket with what he was going to be studying this term, enjoying that thrill of a new adventure, new challenges. I caught him humming a happy tune, as he was perusing a book. The sparkle in his eyes told me his story today. He was moving ahead, living his dream.
The best part of book day is that sense of adventure, and discovery. All the newness of the day: classes, professors, students, books, and, especially, new ideas. So many doors to be opened, so much opportunity.
Today, there are no limits, no restrictions on what may lie ahead.
Possibility fills the air, and I breathe it in deeply.
Neal Lemery 9/8/2013