light a fire

winnie the pooh in glass

This year.

Man, what a long strange trip it’s been. I’ve done better with the light quotes than I realised. I managed most of the ones I had in mind – even though some months that might have been all I posted here.

It was a wonderful focus, a way to revisit my one little word, to tell stories with my images and the quotes.

This is one I’ve been saving all year.

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.
~ Victor Hugo

Reading is one of my greatest joys. I discover worlds, I encounter new people, I engage with ideas.

When Kristina learned to read, my heart filled with a new joy. Not because I wouldn’t have to read to her anymore – I still did that, and missed it when she became impatient with how long it took me to read a book aloud – but because she loves books as much as I ever have, tearing through them like wildfire.

In our family, we talk books all the time – sharing, recommending, pressing each other sometimes, feeling the excitement when we light up over the same books.

There are some we all hold dear – Lord of the Rings, Song of Ice and Fire (that’s Game of Thrones to you HBO folks), Winnie-the-Pooh.

Yes. Winnie-the-Pooh.

Each year on Christmas Eve, Kristina receives an ornament to hang on the tree. It is the last item on her Christmas calendar, and adds to a collection she will take with her when she leaves to make Christmas in her own home.

After the first few years, I learned to buy or make two of the ornaments.

Last year I made these – inside are scrolls of quotes. Kristina’s has quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth, arguably her favourite childhood book. The one for us to keep? Quotes from Winnie-the-Pooh.

If you can, read a book with a child this season. That spark will light you up.

If charitable giving is on your Christmas list this year, please consider literacy and book-donation programs, such as Page Ahead in Seattle, Room to Read in San Fransisco, Reach Out and Read in Boston, LiteracyINC or Pajama Program in New York, or Reading is Fundamental nationally.


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