Jessie: Enjoying the warmer temperatures!
This week I had the great pleasure of traveling to Washington D.C. with two of my sons. One lives there and served as a tour guide for the trip. We had several places on our itinerary to visit that I looked forward to seeing but none that interested me more than a venture to the Library of Congress.
I think it is safe to say things in the nation’s capital have been fraught with every sort of tension lately. For the last couple of years every time Congress is mentioned in private conversations or in the news I’ve felt my stomach clench and my jaw tighten. But as a life-long reader and writer I found my spirits lifted to surprising heights as I stood in front of the Library of Congress and prepared to enter. My son led the way to the office where one goes to apply for a reading room card and within minutes I had a newly minted pass clutched tightly in my hand.
We presented our cards to the man on duty guarding the door and passed easily on into the breathtakingly beautiful space. I sat in silence at one of work spaces and stared up in awe at the domed ceiling. Inspiring words, carvings, paintings and sculptures fanned out above my head. Books and shelves and tiny staircases filled the reading room floor.
All around me people who valued books sat reading and writing and thinking. I felt entirely overwhelmed with gratitude that I could be a part of it, if only for a little while. Despite the clamor and the discord and the current trend of polarizing discourse there is still much to be loved about Washington. Especially if you happen to be a reader.
Readers, do you have spaces you consider sacred? Have you ever been to a library that touches your soul?