As I write this post, snow and ice partially cover the ground outside with no hope of any change for the next few days. It wasn’t a pretty snow, more of the “wintry mix” variety frozen precipitation. After a day’s mini-reprieve on Monday, the forecast calls for another round of bitter cold. I feel trapped. Today, I will probably bundle up and go for a walk outside just to exercise a bit but not for long. I live in the South. I was not made for this. I need to get away.
A secret door would be great. A portal to another land. A passageway to a warmer place. A tunnel to an interesting time.
All around my home office are such passageways. I’ve used them since my childhood on hot summer days under the giant pin oaks in my parents’ front yard and late into wintry nights in my bed with its clip-on lamp. Books are secret doors. When I feel I the bounds of cabin fever, reading often provides my way of escape.
Where do you want to go? Reading can get you there.
Reading can take you back to the joys of childhood
In the country, the city, or suburban neighborhood.
Reading can take you to a magical land or parallel universe
Where you may join the main character in lifting a curse.
Reading can take you away to a foreign land
Where you discover the world from your tiny food stand.
Reading can take you back in your mind to your favorite places and scenes
From a bench in the park tucked away in the evergreens.
Reading can show you in a short novelette
What life is like through the eyes of a pet.
Reading can take you back to the place where you earned your degree
Without the weight of wondering what your future would be.
Reading can take you to a dark, gloomy forest
Where the story unfolds with each flick of your wrist.
Maybe solving a mystery is how you’d rather spend your time;
Reading can take you directly to the scene of the crime.
For many snowed in, they just long for the beach;
Great news, my good friends, reading puts it in reach.
Okay, okay, one more.
Hall of Fame baseball player Rogers Hornsby once said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Personally, I’m looking forward to watching one son play junior college baseball, watching my other son play for the high school freshman team, and coaching high school softball myself. Those seasons will arrive before the sunny and seventy-five weather that should accompany them. With that in mind, here’s one last self-serving and baseball people-serving “reading can” rhyme:
With winter not quite spent in our wintery cave
And not yet time for the cold weather we’ll brave
For the first baseball games before the first heat wave,
Reading can serve as our wintertime save
Go ahead, batter up–start reading Coach Dave.
Related Blog Post: “Five Ways to Get Away Today”
Al Ainsworth tells good, clean stories. Click here to read about him and his books.