Last night, I had one of those incredible experiences which college affords us. I got up yesterday morning with no spectacular plans. It was just a normal Thursday.
Twelve hours later, I was sitting in an upstairs room in a little bookstore, listening to a woman speak about writing children’s books. Eight people huddled in a room, talking and scribbling about the art of literature. Four of us young–either in college or new to full-time work. One art teacher sat in the corner, comfortably dialoguing with our speaker. Two grandparents relaxed in chairs, listening to the author contentedly.
After about an hour of dialogue, our little group rose from our chairs. We leisurely exited the room, filed down the slightly lopsided staircase, and filtered into the shop. My roommate and I marveled at a few children’s books and chatted with the shopkeeper. Eventually, the other visitors left, leaving my friends and I to chat with the author and the owner.
The kind author told us that she was available for anything we might need and invited us to a local writing group. She found out where we went to school and mentioned an alum who attends the group. We laughed and talked for a few minutes more. Then my friends and I trooped out to the car and headed back to school.
From start to finish, we were off campus for maybe two hours. But in that time, we found asylum between the bookshelves. We met a community of people who are like us yet are distinct from us. Instead of being surrounded by people our age, we entered into a space where older adults interacted with us. We learned from them and shared our love for writing. When I got back to campus, I realized that the air seemed fresher, the night sky brighter, and my whole being lighter. I’m glad I took the time for a short trip to listen to a writer. It was the blessing of an hour.