The Power of Books
Article ID: 14994
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 621
Times Read: 1,559
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Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: April 1st. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,559
A wise person told me that books was my way out…. that books could take me to the high seas, to fly in the sky, to cook better, to sew, to learn about myself. I was a teen looking to find out who I really was just as most teens do and like so many teens I was not happy with my home situation. The wise person that told me ‘books were my way out’ was the librarian at my high school. I will call her Mrs. B. Mrs. B talked me into working in the library in 11th grade and that is when the world opened up to me!
Dr. Phil tells us that there are pivotal people in our life that help mold us into the individuals we are today. Well, I have to say that the librarian was just that person for me. As I said earlier, I did not like my home situation and I was determined to change things so I could have more control in my life. Mrs. B was very subtle at first by suggesting a book I might find interesting, or giving me books to shelf in the self-help isle. Oh she was a wise person indeed and I must say a bit sneaky too.
After I read a book she had suggested to me, she would ask how I liked it. I would give the usual answer, “It was okay”. Then she started doing her magic. She asked questions: Did I find anything in the book that reminded me of me? Did I find anything that caught my attention? Yes, she spun her spell well. I started picking out my own books that took me to exotic places all over the world. I also found that books filled with ‘success stories’ were the ones that captivated me the most. People who started with nothing and later ended up “forever happy”. They never gave up hope and did whatever it took to achieve their dreams. Now that is the key that opened the doors and that is the key I wanted.
One Wednesday afternoon, I was putting books back onto the shelves that people had brought back to the library. I always read the titles and sometimes even read the small introduction to the book. Books had become such a huge part of my life now. Anyway, one book caught my attention and so I started thumbing through the book. Oh my gosh! Was this for real? The book I found so interesting was Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner. It was an eye opening experience for sure. Remember when I said I was not happy with my life and I wanted more control? Well, this book stated:
"Witches are taught and believe that the power resides within their bodies which they can release in various ways, the simplest being dancing round in a circle, singing or shouting, to induce a frenzy; this power they believe exudes from their bodies, clothes impending its release. In dealing with such matters it is, of course, difficult to say how much is real ad how much imagination". -- (Witchcraft Today by Gerald B. Gardner; page 20)
Could this be true? Could I hold such controlling power within me? How do I find this power? I knew right then and there that I needed to read this book. I wanted to learn more on this thing Gardner called witchcraft.
One day, I ask Mrs. B if she believed in God and did she go to church. She smiled that ‘knowing smile’ that she so often did and ask why that was of interest to me. I continued to tell her that I had so many questions about God and religion and witchcraft. “Witchcraft, now that is a thought-provoking topic, ” she said. She then asked me why I found this book so interesting. She explained that witchcraft was not well-understood and brought fear to many people via the mere mention of its name. She continued to tell me that people are very cruel to those who have the nerve to follow the beat of their own drum.
She was a wise one and did not discourage me from exploring what my heart wanted me to explore. She cautioned me to be careful who I shared what I learned with and reassured me that I could come to her with any question or concerns I had while on a journey to learn about witchcraft. And so my journey began!
As my 11th grade was coming to an end and summer was just around the corner, I felt a sadness that I would not be able to get to the library as often as I did while in school. Mrs. B could see the change in my behavior and ask what was bothering me. I told her that I wanted to continue to learn about witchcraft and was afraid that I would not be able to get books during the summer months.
She gave me a huge hug and said “I was going to wait until your last day to give you this gift, but I see that it is the right time right now”. She gave me a box wrapped in beautiful wrapping paper with a note on the top saying, “Enjoy your summer, Love Mrs. B”. I opened up the box and there were two items wrapped in tissue paper. As I removed the tissue paper my heart began to beat faster as I held two books: The Meaning of Witchcraft by Gerald Gardner, and Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles Godfrey Leland. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks. I was thrilled to have new books to read over the summer.
Over the years, I have pursued scholastic education in the healthcare arena and received two degrees, one in nursing and one in healthcare administration. I still follow the Pagan path, and I still am a lover of books. Right now I am participating in the Pagan Reading Challenge for 2012.
To this day, I have wonderful memories of working in the library with Mrs. B and having a mentor who did not discourage me from having the guts to following the beat of my own drum. This wise person was right when she told me that books were my way out. Books could take me to the high seas; allow me to fly in the sky, to cook better, to sew, and to learn more about myself. I also found that the power I was looking for, just as Gardner said, was 'within me'. I am now a mentor myself, one who will not discourage others from having the courage to follow the beat of their own drum. I am a wise Pagan who will be forever grateful to Mrs. B.
Location: Davison, Michigan
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