Monday, November 19, 2007

She made the universe brighter

There are a few people who have influenced me during my younger years. One of them was Mrs Maxon, My third grade teacher. I remember clearly everyday after recess we would come back to class and rest our heads on our desks while she read us a chapter from a book. She introduced us to Charlotte’s Web; Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; A Mouse Named Ralph; and A Wrinkle In Time. By doing so she awoke an avid reader in me. Once she read a book I wanted to read more by the author. And through these authors an imagination was fed and creativity inspired.

As you can see from the titles she introduced me to one of my favorite Authors, Madeleine L’Engle. Her ability to create worlds and make you feel a part of them as you read was astounding. There was always a character you could relate to and you felt there was someone out there that understood you. I remember burning through the pages of her books, First, the Murray Family and then the Austins.

Yesterday I was perusing the web, looking for a Christmas gift for my friend Mechele, who is also a fan of Madeleine L’Engle, when I came across her website and was saddened to read she had passed away this September.

In her Newberry acceptance speech she said… “A book, too, can be a star, “explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,” a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”

Although her life star has gone out its light will shine for generations as children continue to have their imaginations fed by her words. And She may never know how many stars she helped ignite by sharing her gifts and inspiring some not only to pick up a book and read but to pick up the pen and write. Rest in Peace Madeleine L’Engle. The universe is brighter and larger because you lent it your light!

And Thank you Mrs Maxon for introducing me to more than the cookie cutter textbook knowledge and let my imagination grow!



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