It’s difficult to remember it is actually spring in Cody. 

Weather the past several days, and into the coming days, is a brief reminder of fall/winter. We know its brief as the trees are beginning to bud, perennials are starting to peek out, and the weeds are popping faster than the grass. 

It’s been a good time to keep the fireplace going and take care of some lingering indoor chores before the outdoor chores call. To this end, I decided to go through my book collection to sort out the read, unread, keep and donate. 

I’d conveniently forgotten my never-ending book fetish. But, as always, I enjoyed rummaging through the books and being reminded of the many stories that have captivated me since I first touched a Dr. Seuss so many years ago.

As I sat among old, sometimes dusty, friends and fanned some of the pages I was drawn back into the thrill of some mysteries and relived the solutions, re-read some passages from a few biographies to remind me what great leaders do and how they behave, was transported back in time to eras that defined us, and looked at the dust jackets of those writing about people and lands I will never have the chance to experience firsthand, but whose gift with words gave me a glimpse into the lives and situations of fellow humans.  

Reading offers us the best of times and the worst. How fortunate we are to have the opportunity to escape for a while; learn something new; understand a different time, place or race; step into the front lines of war; read or hear the words of dictators who took us to the brink of extinction and the words and thoughts of those who brought us back from that very brink. 

We can learn about illness and cures. We can read about how people approach life and death. Kids can be taught history, manners, how to play well with others. We can learn how to build a bookcase or a birdhouse. We can learn about the great thinkers and philosophers. We can get a glimpse from Neil Armstrong how it felt to step foot on the moon; and what Jim Lovell experienced during the harrowing experience of Apollo 13. 

Reading offers us a window on our life, our planet, our galaxy. We can read about the various religions of the world. We can find out what it was like to be a pioneer traveling across the vast plains and what it must have been like to see the Rocky Mountains appear on the horizon for the first time.  

After a while of sitting and reminiscing with my personal library, I found myself comforted, and for the moment, unwilling to part with these old friends. Perhaps another time I’ll be able to separate out the ones I wish to pass along for others to enjoy.  

“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.”

Emily Dickinson 

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