Sunday, July 25, 2010

Escape

When my grandmother was a little girl, her life seemed perfect on the outside. The caring mother and doctor father, living in an elite neighborhood. They were wealthy. They were well-known. But things were not as perfect behind closed doors. Discord, hurt, frustration, and confusion reigned more than love.

So my grandmother needed to escape.

As a young child, her only mode of escape was to read. She devoured The Wizard of Oz, imagining for a moment that she was Dorothy going to other lands, making new friends. She lost herself in any book she could get her hands on, knowing that for the time she held that book in her hands, she was in a different world than her own.

This is the power of books. This is the power of reading.

The circumstances of my life are not so dramatic, but sometimes I feel the need to escape for a few hours. To fall into the world Green Gables, Jane Austen's England, Forks, 1960s south, and any number of places. To make friends with Anne, Elizabeth, Mary Lennox, Bella, Skeeter, or Katniss. To watch them deal with their own problems and forget mine for a time.

Because the thing about those problems is that they are usually still waiting for you once you put the book down. But at least you had a break.

My grandmother is my hero. I love her so much. It is from her that I get my insatable love of reading. It is from her that my mom learned to love me so wholly and unconditionally. It is from her that I learn more of God and His love for us. And I am grateful everyday that my grandmother could get an break from her young life by reading. I am gratefult that my grandmother had Oz.