Last Saturday when I arrived to open the bookshop, a high school girl was waiting outside. I unlocked and let her in, and she knew immediately where she was heading. She had been waiting, that warm summer morning, for me and my key to arrive, to buy a copy of On the Road. Her English teacher had recommended the book. She bought the copy and stood outside, reading.
Later that day, another young woman, who said she was twenty-one, bought a Rand McNally Atlas. She had relinquished her apartment and her job, but not her car. I asked where she was headed, and she smiled and said, I don’t know. Somewhere.
Those two sales alone made my day at the bookshop a pleasure. Youth, wanderlust, reading material.
My parents always loved to pack the car and head out on the highway, the map wedged somewhere in the front seat. As I’m buying another car shortly, I suggested to my girls we pack up, hit the road, and not mind sleeping in a field or two along the way. Dew on your cheeks in the morning is a terrific beginning.
Then, reading the end of HARRIET THE SPY with my daughter tonight, I read: There was a cold wind off the water, but the day was one of those bright, brilliant, shining days that made her feel the world was beautiful, would always be, would always sing, could hold no disappointments.
My young daughter had that kind day of today, her eyes joyful tonight, laughing.
Maybe we won’t be hitting the road this weekend. I have a deskful of work; the garden needs tending; and the children (at this moment) are satisfied. But I could hardly restrain myself from asking of those young women, Send me a postcard. Tell me your stories…….