How long is it now that we’ve been friends? I lose track – too many years to count. You were there before I even really understood you. Before I could read your words and decipher your tales for myself. Before I could even determine which way your pages turned or which part of your cover should be facing up. Your stories came to me on the lilting voices of my parents, my grandparents, my aunties and uncles and family friends. Woven into my life and my dreams on the lips of all those who knew that you would be my most steadfast companions.
When I first knew you, I longed to hear over and over again the few of your stories I had fallen in love with. After all these years of friendship, I still feel that yearning to return again and again to the familiar yarns that you have spun throughout my life, and yet – and yet – I long as well to dive deep into the pages of the hitherto unknown, to discover a fraction more of the endless universe you hold between ink and page.
How is it, dear books, that you gather and share such wisdom – the same and yet different for every reader? How have you taken the hands of your authors throughout the ages and pulled them through to the present, so that I might grasp the hand that offers hope and hilarity, comfort and clarity, moments of profound connection from centuries or continents away? How are you doorways to the past and the future, to the here and the now, and still fit neatly in my hand? How do you contain such fathoms? How do you make me feel that I contain fathoms too?
I have traveled the world in your pages and travelled it again in earnest, but in all my adventures I am yet to find any magic quite like your own.
You are there in every moment. You have filled my life with tears and laughter, heartache and hope, inspiration and contemplation, aspiration and perspective. I cannot comprehend what I would be without you. The time I have spent lost in you has led me to live more freely and love more fiercely than I ever would have known I was capable. You have made me.
My dear books, what is there to say in the face of such friendship? Thank you seems so small a phrase for the scope of all you have brought me but love and gratitude are all I have to offer you. Along with a promise to introduce you far and wide. So thank you, dear books. Thank you. And here’s to immeasurable years of friendship ahead of us.
This post was inspired by a post by Steph over on her blog, A Little But A Lot.