I opened the mailbox the other day to find just three things in it – and all were for me. This is unusual as I share my mailbox with my neighbors across the hall. Not only were all three things for me, but they were all things I was happy to have received. Two were checks, and the third was a package from my most recent writing teacher at the John C. Campbell Folk School. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to hear that I opened the package first.
I was unsure what my writing teacher would be sending, and only after I sliced a pair of scissors through the top of the padded envelope and peered in did I remember that she promised to send a copy of her newly published book, Back to Abnormal. I read the enclosed note and then turned over the book in my hands. Since taking my first writing class, it has been a surreal experience to come to know authors not as some far off group of people of which I could never imagine being part, but encountering them first as teachers, people like me, people who love to share their knowledge with others and do so by putting pen to paper and then teach their students to do the same – but in their own style.
It wasn’t until this morning that I pulled Dana’s book out of the pile of “current reads” on my nightstand and started to read. We had heard the first chapter in class, but I read it again with great interest. After the second chapter, I paused. Hadn’t she said she’d send an autographed copy? In my leafing through the opening pages, I had somehow missed it. So I flipped back and there on the title page was an inscription that made my heart sing: For Rebecca, with admiration for your adventurous spirit. There’s something about someone having known you for just a short time, and in that time is able to glean so much about who you are. But then to be able to put in into words that you will treasure for some time to come – that is a true gift.
So thank you Dana:)