I’ve been listening to a band called Penny and Sparrow lately. If you have an hour or three, I would definitely recommend them. Particularly a song called, “Duet” featuring Stephanie Briggs. Also, check out “Don’t Wanna Be Without Ya,” and a few other great ones by them.

This past year I started suggesting a book and a song on here. With the premise that life is made a little sweeter with a book and a song.

However, lately, due to my old age (kidding, of course) my vision has become a little affected. While I like to think it’s because I am embracing my grandma persona, it’s a little deeper than that. According to my doctor, stress can play a part in affecting your vision. Apparently, I have been *slightly* stressed out this past calendar year. I have no idea what could add to that stress, but here I am stressed out nonetheless. Sarcasm aside, the 2020-21 school year has taken a toll on me physically, mentally, and at times emotionally. As a girl who likes to pull herself up from her bootstraps it’s been frustrating to have to rely on family, friends, and co-workers at times for simple tasks. One of those tasks has been reading.

For those of you who have dealt with reading issues at any point in your life, I don’t have to state how frustrating this is, especially for a gal who has been reading since a young age. To be reading a sentence and just have the lines blur out is not my typical, I have been fortunate to have fairly clear vision my whole life. Shout out to good genes and carrots, I guess.

While the vision issues may be temporary or more permanent, glasses and good doctors exist. Thankfully. But I won’t take the gift of reading, the gift of clear vision for granted again. As a quote from one of my favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail” states-“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”

I love this quote. I think of it all the time as I read children books or other books to 8th graders with their faces lighting up or gently falling asleep, as they clutch their chests when a word strikes their heart in a new way. Reading is a lovely thing and to read to a child is a gift to you both. We know we are all children at heart and what is expressed in this is at it’s core: love.

Because when you read a book out loud, especially if there is a season where a person cannot read for themselves, you are sharing the love. The love first expressed by the author, illustrator, editor, and publisher. And then the shared connection between the reader and the audience. Even if the audience is a three year old curled up by your side ready to hear and receive the language of love.

But we have to have vision first. And not just physical vision- but also figurative vision for our small people. Vision for all of our people. An act of love and sacrifice of time in one of the most pure ways possible. Through the written word.

Today, might we all grow in love and go read a good book. Might we all be a little more empowered to share vision and see a world of hope for the young or even older friends around us.

As Penny and Sparrow say in their song,

Because I’ve seen you
And I know you
And I’m not going anywhere.

To the next generation:

We see you.

We know you.

And we are not going anywhere.

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