Sunday, August 12, 2012

Library Soul Moments

Currently Reading: The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure, Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Voyage by Sterling Hayden, annnnd.... my textbook for grad school. Because I am suddenly seven years old again and can't wait for school to start. :)

A quiet Sunday.. the first in a long time. And you better believe we've been enjoying it. The morning started out at church, which is all decked out for VBS next week. (I'm hoping I'll be able to help out on Tuesday or Thursday morning.) From there, we proceeded to the farmer's market in Janesville, which never fails to disappoint. The counter of our kitchen bears testament to our spoils: two pounds of green beans, twelve sweet-smelling peaches, four tomatoes (I have TWELVE on the vine, but none are ready to be picked yet), three huge cucumbers and three peppers. We stopped at Walgreens to get some school supplies (woohoo!) and a cute travel mug for my upcoming commutes. Add in the fact that I got to pet a husky dog, and it all adds up to a great morning. I meant to clean and spruce up this afternoon but after a load of laundry and two loaves of sourdough bread, I was ready to kick back with some books. I am definitely going to be refreshed and ready for work tomorrow.

Speaking of work....

I don't talk about it very often, but my job is a huge part of who I am. Every index I create, every project I finish, every research request I field, and every grateful patron I get to meet, makes my job one of the best there is. (In my humble opinion.) I am proud of my work and my workplace; Ida Public Library may be a small-town library but I love it immensely. To be fair, I love basically all libraries because, let's face it, they are buildings full of BOOKS. But my real love for libraries comes in that moment when I'm searching the stacks or studying at a table or even just walking through the sections- and I pause. I take a moment to look around me and notice the sweet silence of low voices and the swish of turning pages, the gleam of light on wooden shelves, the scent of new paper and old books commingling perfectly in the air around me. Every library possesses this calming quality to some degree and Ida Library has this essence in droves. Downstairs, in the Local History Room, it is less beautiful than it is upstairs, but I am still often hit with a sense of coziness and peace when I survey the shelves crammed with books and indexes, or the symmetrical microfilm readers at the ready for the next patron to walk in the door.

Several days ago, I was walking through the original upstairs section (the section that was built in 1912) when I stopped for a second to soak in the sight of raindrops falling like a curtain past the windows. The rain always makes the library feel even more comfortable than it already is, muting the light outside and enhancing the yellow glow of the lamps overhead, that I always find myself stopping to notice it, however briefly. It was such a soul-fulfilling moment, to watch the rain fall past these windows as it has done for almost 100 years, transforming the room inside just as it altered the world outside. I felt so utterly at peace in that moment, one of those in which I knew with certainty that God exists and that I am right where I should be. In those moments, I lose my doubts and my worries because I know there is nothing more important than this: to stand at a library window and watch the rain.

Hope your Sunday was just as enjoyable... have a great week!


  1. This is such a beautiful post. I especially love the poetry in your final paragraph. I often pause to take in scenes like that. :-) I work in a bookstore and often scan the room in love with my bookish surroundings. I can borrow any hardcover I want from work, but I try to keep a couple books out at the library, too. To keep you folks in business. :-)

    If I wasn't going to try to be a lit professor, I believe I'd be a librarian.

  2. A beautiful post, indeed. One can tell that you love history as much as your much as books? Sounds like a perfect Sunday, and how perfect to be able to reflect on the joys of work as one moves into the work week. That is what weekends are supposed to be: fun and rejuvenating so that when we return to work, it is a joyful thing. By the way, I am sure you have plenty of silence in the library...although I see now that all of those books, the occasional rain--and even the walls of that old building--are much to loud, and pleasantly so, to hear one's own thoughts. Have a great week!


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