My mother was a big-city girl relocated by marriage to a small university town with a paucity of bookstores (back before big box stores or the Internet). She got active in the Friends of the Library and the American Association of University Women. One of her major volunteer efforts was to organize the AAUW’s annual book sale. I remember feeling like a kid in a candy store each year, wandering from table to table to choose one book to take home.
The cover pictures that drew me most were of children in an exotic setting, another time or country, perhaps in ethnic costume or standing in front of a thatched hut or a yurt. They stoked my curiosity. Is it any wonder I later studied history and worked as a researcher in a publisher’s geography department?
Life coach Mary Helen Conroy suggests recalling the shining moments of childhood joy as bits of glass in a kaleidoscope, which you can turn to see what beautiful new patterns those same bits might form later on. What engaged your passion or stoked your curiosity as a child? How do those joys shine in your life today, or how might you reclaim them for tomorrow?
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.