Sunday, March 4, 2012

Treasures Lost

It's a peaceful morning. Sweet Wife is hard at study for her job - she reads piles of documents as the wind whips the trees and scuds the clouds into a frenzy. The hard rains passed late this morning and has left us with gusts that exceed forty miles an hour. With no other sound in the house other than my breath and the click of this keyboard it's hard to stay awake. I need to get back into a novel.

My pretty friends, A Girl and Her Gun, and kymber, left remarks on my last post about encyclopedias. It made me recall, years past, when I dumped (literally) my last two sets in a dumpster for my move cross country. As I said to them, I deeply regret that awful and stupid act. But at the time all I held in life was a truck, a dog, my guns (wrapped in oiled wool blankets) a few clothes and two boxes of books (all first editions) and my life savings. I didn't have room for two sets of heavy and bulky encyclopedias. I even left my Labrador Retriever, Dixie, with a close friend, although I have her portrait framed and hung on my office wall.  

Back to the subject, encyclopedias. After our brief exchange on the subject I had this overwhelming desire to rush out and purchase another set. I need them like a hole in head but none the less there is a void in my library.  I did mention to kymber that as soon as I pass a thrift store or Salvation Army outpost or even a Goodwill store I will take time to stop and scan their shelves for a set. I hope to find another set of Britannica, but at this point I settle for those below. Yes, it's Russian.

There's just something warm and gentle about the feel of an old book, even an encyclopedia. If you're lucky enough to own a used leather bound set take it in hand and caress its covers and allow it to tell you of its journeys. Know in your heart some child has held the volume and dreamed of lands far away and has taken in the knowledge of its facts. It's very possible, some weary farmer, in his home snuggled deep in a river valley, sat before a fire with his wife and read aloud those passages of the founding of our nation. I'm sure they roamed from the swamps of Florida to the iced caps of both poles to the shores of Africa by nothing more than the flip of a time scented page. 

Some treasures just can't be replaced by a computer.