Each summer, Mother loaded my brother and I into the car and drove us to the magical place where one could take all the books they wanted…for free. There was just one catch: one must promise to return the books two weeks later.
Libraries teach responsibility to the youngest of patrons. Libraries also teach us that anything is possible. So it was on June 18, 2011 as I stood before a packed meeting room of the Roswell Public Library that I realized I truly am—as the saying goes—living the dream.
I began by sharing the importance of libraries and how they hold a special place in my heart. However, as I was speaking I couldn’t help but realize that my dream of a being a published author would have never happened if it hadn’t been for the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City, North Carolina. A library that still smells exactly as it did when I was seven-years-old. The smell of promise; that if I do my part and work hard, the books will do their part and share with me everything they know.
I’ve recently decided to give back to the books that changed my life. I am now a proud library volunteer. I shelve books. I do it well and with a grateful heart.
This past Saturday, I had invited Billy Albertson, the subject of my book titled In The Garden With Billy: Lessons About Life, Love & Tomatoes to attend the Authors Talk. Giving him a time where he could be fashionably late and make a grand appearance. He did not disappoint.
We laughed. We talked about gardening, goats, snakes and tomatoes. William Lucas generously provided free samples of GrowBest Plant Food. My daughter took photographs.
Truly, it was a lovely day.
For those who might believe that dreaming BIG requires too much effort. Well, it might. But if you do your part, I promise that the books won’t let you down. They will remain with you throughout the journey into becoming the person you are meant to be.
Renea Winchester is an award-winning author. Her work has been nominated for a SIBA award and the Georgia Author of the Year award. Visit her at www.reneawinchester.com