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Marie's well-worn book
Marie’s well-worn book

With one hand she clutched the small, well-worn book. With the other hand she held onto the railing of the great ship. Too short to see over the long and weathered wooden handrail, she could see just fine under it. She felt safe. She was safe; she had her book.

The little girl knew that the city on the horizon was the destination and not just another port of call. Even from this distance it radiated a faint, golden glow. She knew this was the place because every word in her little book was flush with the same glow.

If she were asked to describe her book and the light that seemed to emanate from it, and she often was, she would almost always end up stopping herself, knowing that there are no words to describe it. More than once when asked by someone to explain why she held onto this little book wherever she went and what was in it, she got emotional. Partly out of a slight ache of frustration, and partly out of unspeakably joyful appreciation for the enormous price she paid to obtain her book, great tears welled up in her eyes that came directly from her heart.

As if to prove her point, she would sometimes extend the book in front of her with both hands and open it, knowing full well that in that exact instant both the book’s luminance and the book’s words would completely disappear, leaving the other person wondering even more what about this little girl’s little book could possibly be so important.

With a slight, kindly smile, she would always say the same thing: “I cannot tell you with words what is in my book, for there are no words to describe it. I can only show you. Come with me for a while and go where I go. Then you will see. Then you will know.” The rhyme always made her smile even more, not caring that she could be perceived as being too clever by half. Most people didn’t seem to even note the rhyme, nor were they irritated by her invitation. They just didn’t have the time to take her up on it.

Any time the words in the book, or just the thought of the book itself, inspired tears to flow from her eyes, and they often did, those tears sparkled with the same glow as the words in her book, and as the skyline of the approaching city on the horizon.

To be continued…

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