Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Monday, April 5, 2010
My Mother, My Librarian
As I write this, I am lying on the couch in a sun drenched family room with my mother in Northwestern Connecticut, in the same house that my grandparents, Madeleine L'Engle and Hugh Franklin, had once dubbed "Crosswicks". My mother has made the house her own with an extensive rescue job - the house having had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect. The couch I've taken over for the afternoon is covered in a delicious red velvet and my mother sits across from me in her brown leather chair, reading the paper, a stack of books piled next to her. My mother is perhaps the most well read person I know - not only does she have floor to ceiling bookcases (constantly in need of rearranging due to overflow) but she has stacks of books on every surface by a chair, and she even owns a Kindle! It is a luxury - almost sensual - that Crosswicks is big enough for all these books to co-habitate. In New York City I live in a state of book-deprivation and have to be very sparing living in a small apartment with four other people!
I've always said that my mom's house is my library, but it would be more accurate to say that my mom is my librarian - we talk and breathe books when we are together. She always leaves a stack of books on the stairs for me and of course I can't resist cracking open Michael Connelly's latest Detective Bosch novel, Dragon.
I am drowsy from an action-packed, fun-filled family vacation, and wish that I had more than a day to relax in my mother's world here at Crosswicks, in her cocoon of literature. We made it up here just in time for Easter dinner last night: lamb, and chocolate and friends, waking up this morning to an Easter Egg hunt my husband had rigged the night before. (Evidently, those in the White House do their egg hunt on Easter Monday, which was enough to impress my kids that we didn't have to throw something together in a hotel room on Easter morning.)
I've missed my mom, having not spent as much time up here as I used to, due to my burgeoning schedule beyond the kids. Here in her house was where I passed to my mom the early pages of EDGES.
Crosswicks is also the backdrop for many of my grandmother's works, from A Wrinkle in Time, to obviously, The Crosswicks Journals. So yes, the grounds inspire reading and writing. And, for my part, a little regression, as it is no wonder I come to my mother hoping to be cradled in her figurative, if not literal, bosom. The bosom of her library, and her support for my creative life. I love you, mom!