Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Wonder and the Reading
My favorite time to walk my dog is at dusk. In Chicago right now dusk is about 9 pm. The sky is full of color, a periwinkle blue near the stars and a glowing golden gray and rose near the horizon. The fireflies have been lighting up the sky for about 2 weeks now but tonight they were a little lower, fighting to stay aflight near the ground, likely to be gone soon.
There is a beautiful old brick Tudor style home in my neighborhood that I walk by frequently. To the side of the house is a room with a wall of large glass windows and when I walk by in the evenings the room is usually ablaze with light. In the center of the room is a large pool table with glass lamps hanging above the center of the table. The perimeter of the room opposite of the windows is lined with built in book shelves. It appears to be a gaming room that is decorated to resemble an old English Manor library. In the years I've lived in the neighborhood and walked by this home I've only seen someone in the room once before.
Tonight as I was walking by with the dog, I noticed the room was softly lit by lights hanging above the bookshelves. And there was a man in the room. He was standing facing the shelves, with a book propped open in the crook of his arm. He was bent over the book with his face only a few inches from the page, as if he had picked up the book but forgotten his glasses. As I walked by I watched him glance up from his book, search the shelves, run his hands over the spines of the books and then look back down to his book to continue reading. I smiled recognizing a man who was truly enjoying a moment lost in his books but also glad the books weren't just for decoration.