Well, *That* happened...

It would seem that new children's librarians are front page news around here. I had kind of hoped this would be buried somewhere next to the Dear Abby column, but I guess not. :/ Anyway, since it DID happen... I thought I'd share it with you. 

In other news: I have three new friends, all aged 6 and under, all of whom like Frozen and coloring and hugs. I like that. :)

I've Got a Garret (and other thoughts from this past week)

After a full week of living in this house, it finally happened; I woke up this morning to rain on the roof. Now, rain on the roof in a normal room is a wonderful thing on its own, but, dear reader, I don't have a normal room in my new home; I have a garret. At its highest point, the ceiling in my little garret is 6 inches above my head, and it slopes down to about three feet one side of room, and four on the other. The door-frame is of such a height that when I stand at full stature in it, the lintel presses down gently on my head. There's a solitary window at the gable (not green, sorry!) that overlooks the porch roof and street. In short, this room is just my size, fitting not only my body (which favors small, cozy spaces) but my spirit as well.
I've long loved the idea of a garret room, having fed on Little Women as a girl.  Jo's garret is her place of inspiration, and of refuge--the place she runs to to scribble away on her manuscript and escape her troubles alike. It is my highest hope that my own little garret room will be the same to me.

In the past week, I've been settling in to both my new living situation and my new job, and there's one thing I keep telling myself. I remind myself of the non-transience of this new situation. Yes, nothing is forever, and nothing is permanent, but compared to the past four years of college, where I knew the expiration date was steadily approaching, this is for-good, till God leads me elsewhere. I tell myself that I need to let that knowledge shape me as I settle here, from the little things like buying real bookshelves, instead of making do some ghetto-college-kid fix, and putting the flour and sugar in canisters instead of leaving the bags rolled up in the pantry, to big things like pushing myself to actively involve myself in a church even when I'm exhausted from a long first week. This is life now. I want to live it fully engaged, like a whole human being.

 This looks like not hitting snooze on my 6 am alarm, and eating breakfast for real. It's learning to balance work and life, because 1 week in, I already find myself bringing work home with me in my mind. (Lets just say I woke up at 2 a.m. the other morning stressed about planning a future program that isn't even on my timeline yet).
It's recognizing that I have this wonderful opportunity to do and be anything and anyone right now, so I should just do it.

I'm looking forward to the times of refuge I'll spend in this room, like right now as I sit here in Lucy Maud, writing and listening to the rain mixed with Thomas Newman's heartstirring strings. I'm looking forward to the Becoming that awaits me in these next few weeks, and months... and years.  I'm looking forward to living the life abundant that God has planned for me.

Milestones: First and Last Night

That first cold night,  I slept in this spot on the floor, as the moving truck would arrive in the morning. I carried a notebook with me, in which I was scribing a childish fairy-tale, about princesses and pigs.

Tonight, I write in this corner of my empty room again, because I like to leave behind markers on my road; and I like it when things come full circle.

December 17th, 2007 to August 8th, 2014; Almost seven years. Here's to being a mature and responsible adult who doesn't live under her parents roof.

- Sarah

My Friendly Ghosts

"Have I told you about my ghost theory?" I asked as we made our way up the big hill behind the school. 
She, who doesn't think me odd when I suggest a walk to visit my favorite tree, isn't at all fazed by this question. 
"No..." she answers, implying her willingness to hear this theory of mine. 
So, I tell her about the ghosts I see.

Now don't look at me like that, I don't claim to have seen spirits -- malicious, friendly or otherwise -- rather, my "ghosts" as I like to call them, are the indelible marks that some of my strongest memories have left on the fabric of time and space.

I had been visiting one of my best friends from college and her husband, a sort of birthday-celebration/last-spontaneous-road-trip-before-I-move-even-farther-away-and-start-working-40-hours-a-week visit. They still live near our alma mater, as he works for the school, so aside from seeing them that weekend, I was also visiting with all my old ghosts.

Here's how I see it: its like taking a time-lapse photo of one location that highlights just the past iterations of myself in that place. I can look at a favorite spot and see myself there a hundred times. That favorite tree I mentioned? Past selves ramble all around its trunk: picnicking in the April violets, posing for pictures in a sweeping gown, stooping to pick up a fragile yellow leaf to press in my journal.

Four years of adventures -- and misadventures -- in such a small town and small campus means there's more adventures, and consequently more of my ghosts, per square mile. Whenever I return, I run into myself everywhere. Sometimes, on these meetings, I wince and apologize to my former self for my awkwardness, my faux pas and blunders. The strong emotion of anxiety in those moments make them stick out more.
Other times, I  climb a railing or clear ivy off crumbling brick steps  to keep company with a peaceful ghost. Sitting in comfortable old hideaways and perches, I can recall the phone conversations, the journaling, the extended periods of reverie there, and I am calmed by the remembrance.

You may wonder if indulging this wild of fancy of mine is healthy; if, perhaps, I'm dwelling on the past too much. I don't believe so. It helps to see where I've been, to hold up my past as a measuring-stick to my present, just to see how much I've grown. As much as I may reminisce and get nostalgic over the pleasant times I've had, I know that they came with trials that I would never wish back. I'm through them now, having moved on to new difficulties and growing pains.

I would never have become the Me I am now, were it not for who I was then. And for that reason, I'll always welcome a visit with my friendly ghosts.