Hesitating

by Elouise

her eyes
scan
each faded
page

past
and future
clash
reluctant

time
runs out
wistful
she sighs

remembers
what
she had
forgotten

sees more
than
decades
before

maybe….
what if….
must I
now?

shadows
creep
toward
sunset

closing
each book
not ordained
to stay

she turns it
sideways
spine up
pages down

***

During the last several weeks, D and I (more D than I) have been weeding our home library yet again. Only this time it’s different. We’re retired. In our 70s. Not going back there again.

Our collection, well over 9,000 (yes, D keeps a record!), has been our 3rd ‘child’ since we married each other and our book collections in 1965. It grew exponentially with each new degree and each new teaching and administrative opportunity.

The most important item in any house we’ve purchased has been wall space. We’ve had bookshelves on every floor and in most rooms. Since 1983, when we moved to the Philadelphia area, we’ve put rows of them on our home-made shelves up and down our full length finished attic. Our decorating scheme has been simple: Books!

Not just professional and academic books, but collections for children, adult novels, biographies, poetry, mystery series, science fiction, philosophy, art history, music books, travel books, encyclopedias, foreign language books, world religion books, Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and Winnie the Pooh!

Big sigh. Letting go is, for me, rather emotional. These are my friends! My companions on a long journey! Just looking through them reminds me of the many wonderful women and men I’ve met along my journey—as classmates, as professors, as students and as colleagues.

Letting go has taken decades—first hundreds of books, then our first 1000, and now I can’t even count. Yes, we’re keeping some—can’t go cold turkey on everything. Have we read all of them? No. But I can say with certainty we’ve used or read most of them over our combined academic years. We’re book-worms from the inside out.

So here’s a fond farewell to the latest haul—now over 100 boxed books stacked neatly in our garage waiting for pickup by a book service that sends books like ours to majority world theological schools.

Here’s an impromptu proverb for today: She who hesitates today will regret it tomorrow (when she has to go through the same old books again)!

Yours in sickness, in health and in between!
Elouise

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 1 March 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Hesitate