My mother is a collector of quotes. A strong believer in the soothing power of knowledge, Mom has always turned to books when confronted with any problem, issue, question. In her strong mind, there is nothing that can’t be cured with the assistance of a well-written tome. She seeks their wisdom like a sapling to light, always straining to grow and become more.
Like me, Mom loves calendars — and has a page-a-day version on her desk, one of many that have helped her greet the day over the years. This year’s is a collection of quotes encouraging us to “believe in ourselves.” Whenever Mom finds one she thinks will inspire my sister or me, she tucks them in places for us to find. Digging around in my purse on many occasions, I’ve run fingernail-first into a slip of paper with Mom’s careful script in the margin.
Mom collects these scraps of wisdom — and then shares them with me. The one above, from writer Elizabeth Hardwick, landed in my palm with another message from my mother: “For Megan and her book blog.” And I read it and I read it, nodding all the while, thinking about the places books have taken me. The scenes through which I have traveled, and the people I’ve met. The way books have comforted me, boosted me, helped me become more than what I am: a 26-year-old writer in the suburbs, fumbling her way through a world that often seems both familiar and foreign.
I feel like I’m never going to stop learning and growing — and I can only hope that the wonderful stories that have provided the backdrop to my brightest and darkest days will always be here, ready to lend a moment of illumination. Ready to inspire and teach and encourage.
Just like my mom, who has believed in me for so long. And a woman I believe in with all my heart.