Saturday, November 14
Over the past eight weeks the Billerica Public Library has become my church.
It’s where I first rediscovered my joy – watching Briggs shake it out to the Beanbag Rock one Tuesday night at pajama story time.
“Here, Mom,” he ran over in between verses, “I got these beanbags for you to shake, too.”
I tried really hard to cry quietly. I didn’t want anyone to mistake these tears of deep and profound release to be mistaken for sadness.
After that moment of divine grace, Briggs and I were regulars. Story times, drop-in crafts, Discovery series, movies, magic shows – we signed up and showed up, for all of it.
When I finally built up enough strength to venture out of the children’s section, I remembered that I love to read. I gave myself over to the novels I’d been meaning to check-out, the self-help I’d never been brave enough to open, the new biography of the Wright Brothers, an amazing memoir from a journalist who befriended Harper Lee and her big sister Alice near the end of the their lives, and another titled Born with Teeth written and read by actress, Kate Mulgrew.
It’s where I discovered Showtime’s Homeland and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes. Both, highly recommended. And the Rainbeau Mars Yoga for Beauty DVDs – which I loved so much I had to purchase a copy, so that I could practice with Rainbeau everyday without depriving the rest of the town of her disciplines, as she calls them.
And of course, perhaps most importantly, my invitation to begin my own practice of Thanksgiving – which came in the form of a recording of Cami Walker’s Best Seller, 29 Gifts.
In short, the Billerica Public Library was (and remains to be) the most critical resource in my on-going recovery.
It gave me the chance to be present with my son. To rediscover my own curiosity. To laugh and cry. Move and think. To be quiet and still, in order to move forward with grace and confidence.
See, it’s in the library that I learned how to pray.
And so, on this day, as I scoot around my end of town to pick up the gifts for the tree my family will donate to the annual Billerica Festival of Trees hosted each year at the library, I am truly filled with cheer.