There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul.
I am rich. Oh, I don't mean in the monetary sense. My family, like many families around the country, has been hit very hard with current economic unrest. Our lifestyle has changed a great deal in the last couple of years. We've never lived extravagently but we have always been able to afford the necessities of life and many of our wants. Now our lives are...well...simpler. We used to be able to travel a good deal. We can no longer afford to do that...
Or can we?
Come to think of it, I have over 17,000 tickets to take our family nearly anywhere we want to go. Just by opening the pages of a book, we have been able to sit on the four thrones of Cair Paravel in Narnia, flee the Nazis with Prince Michael of Hungary, go 20,000 leagues under the sea and to the center of the earth, and defend the abbey at Redwall. We have traveled to the past and into the future. We've met Benjamin Franklin, Julius Caesar, Millet and John Muir. We've flown south with Honker the Canada goose and to Mars with Freddy the Pig. We've stopped by woods on a snowy evening and gone down the road less traveled.
Most importantly we have been comforted by the words in The Living Book by our Lord who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and by Paul when he encouraged us to, "Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
So many families I know are feeling the stress of hard times, whether economic, family troubles, or health issues. And while books cannot take away the reality of the situation, they can offer relief from the stress of the day, comfort in the loss, company in the sick room and a frugal chariot to other lands.
This frugal chariot is available to anyone with a bookshelf or a library card. Little or no money is necessary. Are you ready? Let's go...