I’ve talked often about my deep love for books. I like books more than I like most people or places or things. Books smell and sound like home to me, and all is right with the world when I can wrap myself up in words. I have a friend who reads a lot in the fantasy genre, and she does so because it’s an escape, a place that feels different from her everyday life. I don’t read for escape. I read because other people’s stories, their fears, hurts and triumphs, free me to experience my own.
Stories bring me back or draw me forward. They compel me to think in a new way. I’ve always felt that the right books come to us at just the right time in our lives. At the moment, I’m reading Jane Eyre for a class assignment. Sweet serendipity. While my thoughts are swirling around ideas of freedom and liberty, into my life drops Jane. Her life follows a course set out for her by a spiteful aunt, abusive headmaster, and overbearing lover. And yet, she resists, she does not allow them to conquer her spirit. This is the glory of her story, and my story and yours too.
Life and people will change our course without our permission. They will construct boxes, or expectations, or circumstances that may require things of us that we don’t want to give. They might infringe on our ideas of freedom, and sometimes, we need to be okay with that. Like Jane, our spirit and our will is our own. They can only have what we are willing to give them.