It seems to me that, eventually, everything comes full circle. And every once in a while, something happens to reinforce this belief, to make it more real.
Back in 1994, a freckle-faced, 9-year-old girl named Taylor, walked into the library where I worked in the children’s department. She had come with her family to find books to borrow. When she walked up to my desk, I was stunned. It was as if a book character whom I knew and loved had magically materialized. Taylor looked exactly how I pictured Mo Cleary, a character in my middle grade novel, Mayfield Crossing, and I told her so.
We had a lovely conversation, and I helped her find books (including Mayfield Crossing). She and her family were regulars at my library until they moved out of state a few years later.
Happily, we stayed in touch and have become great friends. Taylor is grown up now, married with four children. And she is a children’s librarian. I am proud of her and of any part I may have played in her choice of profession.
This Christmas just passed, I received a gift from Taylor in the mail—Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Mackesy’s book is simultaneously simple and complex. It’s about friendship and love, kindness and life. It’s about fears and dreams, heartbreak and happiness. It’s about finding forgiveness and the meaning of home. It’s about being ordinary and extraordinary, brave and magnificent. And it’s about cake. It’s a book that will always be relevant, one the world needs right now.
The beauty of the book itself aside, Taylor’s gesture touched me in a full-circle kind of way. Over the years I’ve shared many books with her. Books brought us together. Now Taylor is sharing books with me. More to the point, she is sharing books with children. It’s a good feeling.
My 2022 New Year’s resolution to seek levity helped me keep a positive attitude throughout the year. Spending time in Mackesy’s world is a perfect way to start 2023, a fine way to keep the good feeling. May you do so as well.
Happy New Year, everyone. And thanks, Taylor!