Recently I have been going to bookstores. Not really to buy a particular book, but because my good friend reminded me how much I really, really love books. I’ve come back with an old hymnal my mother loved, books on writing, and short stories, etc.
But my favorite so far has been a children’s book called Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake. My friend pointed out how fun it was to read children’s books, and originally, I scoffed and went back to looking at a civil war history that weighed roughly 80 pounds. But the more we went to bookstores the more I thought about books from my childhood, books my son read, and how happy they made me.
It struck me the happiness was based at least in part upon imagination and level of concentration both easy and hard. I started to think about reading the book, and how it might help me use another part of my brain. And guess what? It did.
I started to slow down. To focus on the story. To really look at the artwork. To imagine what it might be like to be a stodgy badger living with an outgoing skunk. Not that I would identify with a stodgy badger….The point is this: it was another way to be mindful. To wake up that part of my brain I don’t get to use as much because of television or the internet. This required work, but it was relaxing enough it did not require work, if that makes sense.
So, if you are looking for something different, something to help your mind relax, you might think about a children’s book next time you are at a bookstore. Or better yet, go down to the basement or up to the attic and see what is just waiting for you to remember. I’m really, really glad I did. Thanks for the suggestion, Corrie.