Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In The Middle of a Bookstore Aisle

When I was a little girl, I used to love going to book stores. I'd walk through every section, trailing my fingers across the wide assortment of spines. Some were thin and bony, others were plump and juicy, some had glossy covers, while some were rough to the touch. But there was one thing that kept me coming back for more-the smell of the pages of so many books, stiff with anticipation, just waiting to be read.

I'm pretty sure that's where my love of reading came from. I literally had my nose buried in books. I would pluck these gems from the shelves and stand in the middle of an aisle at Barnes and Noble. I'd lift the book to my nose, inhaling, and as I exhaled, I'd always find myself grinning from ear to ear.

Last night, I was sitting in bed reading a book that I'd been meaning to read for quite some time. It'd been sitting on my nightstand, collecting dust, while I was away at school. Last night, I finally began to read it.

About 13 pages in, I had the strangest urge. I lifted that book to my nose, took a quick sniff, and then laughed at myself for being so silly. I continued reading, but I just had to lift it up and smell it once more. This time I really took it in, and all of a sudden, there I was; little, 7 year old, 2nd grade me, standing in the middle of an aisle at Barnes and Noble, taking in the smell of a previously untouched Nancy Drew mystery that was just begging to be read.

They say certain scents are connected to certain memories, to certain feelings. For each person, that scent could mean a different thing. And for me, that smell of books meant passion. It was a passion for knowledge. It was a passion for the peace that came with getting lost inside of a story for hours. Inside of a story where I was untouchable. Inside of a story where nothing could stop me from being who, or what, I wanted to be.

As we grow older, we tend to leave behind our sacred spaces. Sure, I still enjoy reading books of all kinds, but the magic, the passion, I'd lost it for a while.

Just because you've "grown up," don't lose sight of what it is that kept you going when you were younger, what it is that kept you passionate. Because, those odd rituals that we performed when we were younger, will serve to rejuvenate us and recharge our passion for life, and for living.