Today right before sunset I went on a walk with the dog, and little did I know that today’s walk would end up being one of the coolest ones I’ve been on in awhile.
I went a different way tonight, a longer path, up and down hills I never go on, and ended up at this un-official, friendly dog park. I walked up to the top corner of the park to get the best view of the sun on it’s descent for the day – when something caught my eye.
It was this cute little box on a post. And when I got closer, and could see what it read, it instantly made me smile.
Yes you’re seeing this right. A little free library. Take a book, leave a book. What was this? Was it really what I thought it was? How did I not know about it? Is this a thing? In my own neighborhood nonetheless?
Yes, it’s a thing. A pretty big thing actually. And it’s called a Little Free Library.
Take a book, leave a book. What a wonderful concept. Strangers getting connected by something so powerful and wonderful – the gift of reading. The gift of something that can completely take you away to another place. The gift of something that enriches your life and colors your imagination. The gift of a good book.
And it’s from a stranger. A stranger that you’re now connected to. A Little Free Library is a way for people to come together again.
You see this little box is so much more than a library. After immediately getting on my phone to Google what the heck I had discovered I learned that this is a movement, and a cool one at that.
It all started in 2009 when a Wisconsin man built a little school house (as a tribute to his mother who was a teacher that loved to read), filled it with books, and placed it in his front yard with a sign that said “Free Books”. One little library turned into thousands of them, each one built from recycled materials with the theme of exchanging good books while bringing people together for something positive.
Community + connection. I. Was. Stoked.
By the end of 2014 there were 15,000 little free libraries in the U.S. Wow – promoting literacy, and the love of reading by exchanging free books with strangers. How cool is this.
So here I am. Excited beyond belief, wanting so badly to take a book (but knowing I must wait until I can come back to gift one in exchange) and just feeling proud and happy.
Proud that there are still good people out there doing great things, and bringing people together, and making a difference. And happy that I was now a part of it.
Sometimes we may lose our footing a little, or lose pieces of ourselves. A job title, a friendship, a memory, a moment. There are always endings to our beginnings. Becoming separated is just a part of life, whether we like it or not. And it may not be easy to say goodbye, you may not be ready for it, or want it, or understand it.
But then we get the hello’s. An open door, an invite to join something new. We may not see experiences and moments like this – but there they are. Waiting for us. Ready for us.
It’s the yin to the yang. The push to the pull. The give to the take.
Something may end, but something could also begin. My front yard may or may not be housing a Free Little Library in the very near future , but if you’re local in SD, and want to see this cool little treasure for yourself, wander up to 2550 Fairfield Street. You’ll be glad you did.
Give and take. Push and pull. Pick up a free book and get connected my people.