Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Empty bookshelves...

“Bookshelves” by Seth Skogerboe

Towers on a wooden floor,
filled with people, stories, more.
Wise men, foolish. Whispers. Roars.
Of course, I speak of bookshelves.
See the stories pouring out.
One overflows with magic trout.
(The best ones, proud, stick bookmarks out.)
There’s stories on these bookshelves.
Poetry flows like water, sweet.
In some, I hear the tramp of feet,
going off to fight, or greet.
Whole worlds on my bookshelves.
Each one is a special portal.
One shows true love. One shows immortals.
Some of them just make you chortle.
The power of the bookshelves.
My parents home is filled with bookshelves in almost every single room.  Only a couple that can actually be moved...the rest, built by my father over the years as my mother's book collection (and to some extent, my dad's) expanded.  My parents are moving out of their home this week, a place they have lived for 34 years.  You can box up and pack books, but not the built in bookshelves that were their resting place.  So the rooms in their now soon-to-be-former home, look like this: 
My mom has ruthlessly whittled through her books, deciding which to keep and which to pass on. (She even gave her daughters the option of going through her reject pile before carting them off to D.I.  It felt a bit like wandering through a really well stocked used bookstore.)  All the same, until my dad builds the new bookshelves that he has promised in the new house, most of the books are now resting here:

I have to say, I have really struggled with this move.  When I showed up a couple of days ago to help pack and haul, I was already in tears.  Trying frantically and failing to wipe away evidence of my emotion, I finally had to own up to it and say, "So...I'm going to cry, okay?  Just ignore me."  My dad teased me a little bit.  "You realize, you are the only one having this problem?  Just think" he said, "if you were packing up the house because we were dead?"  Well that was certainly a morbid thought.  But it did put some perspective on it.  That would indeed be much worse.  Still, I shed enough tears that I was wishing I had thought to wear waterproof mascara.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized that the reason I am having such a hard time (besides that fact that I am an overly sentimental person anyway) is because I had such a great childhood.  My parents raised their 5 girls with love and humor and the gospel.  Five-part harmony birthday songs and sleeping under the Christmas tree in December.  Sunday popcorn on the back porch and family dinners each and every day.  Chores and homework.  Family Home Evening and scripture reading.  Sisterly spats and sisterly bonding.  Every room in that house has memories.  And so in a way, I feel like I am saying goodbye to more than just a house.  It almost feels like I am saying goodbye to a family member.  


Mary said...

The books are in the tub? Let just hope that one of the grandkids don't turn on the water...

Melissa@thebblog said...

oh Mary, just saying that is a jinx! I never even thought of that :)

I'll miss our house too but I'm surprisingly not sentimental. Maybe I'm too tired of moving boxes of things and that keeps me from being weepy. Too tired to cry.

Jewels said...

I think you're lucky to have so many memories. We moved a lot when I was growing up, so there isn't one house that holds all my memories.
And, yes, it is better than them being dead. =0)