Since I have been out of school I have had little need to be a library patron. However, thanks to a seven-year-old, I have rediscovered the joys of my local library branch.
I promised my boyfriend’s daughter Mackenzie that I would take her to the library for her first library card. I have taken an interest in her reading skills since I met her 20 months ago. She struggled badly with reading and could barely manage more than “hi” and “cat”. I was all for dedicating time to reading aloud with her and encouraging her to read more. Let’s just say she got lots of books for Christmas last year!! She has taken to books and reading like a fish to water. She is in the second grade but her Dad told me she reads at a third grade level now! 🙂
Paul and I decided that she was old enough to have her own library card. She enjoys reading and we hoped the library card would encourage her progress in reading. Boy, did it ever! She devours her books. She practically skips through the shelves of books waiting to find the next hard covered treasured. I was thrilled because when I was little I LOVED the library too. In fact, punishments for wrong-doings included taking away my trips to the library! Oh the horror!
But, it’s been years since I have been in the library. I had little need for it. If I needed some information; I had the internet. If I was dying to read a book I would buy it or invariably receive it as a gift. My Netflix subscription kept me up to my eyeballs in movies and documentaries (which I adore!).
A couple of months ago I found a book club I was interested in. I knew little about their chosen book (The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield) so I didn’t want to spend money on it so I checked it out of the local library one day on my lunch break. As I walked into the library past the little grass area I used to play in as a child I was filled with warm, happy memories. It made me wonder if Mackenzie had gotten her library card yet.
The next time I talked to Paul I mentioned the library card and next thing I knew I was proudly standing next to Mackenzie as she carefully printed out her first and last name on her new library card.
Wandering around the library I found all sorts of treasures. Audio books, craft books (plus-sized crochet anyone?), dvds and trashy novels, oh my! I was suddenly swiping my library card instead of my debit card! It seems like every other day I walk out of the public library with an armful of mixed media!
And what does all of this have to do with Scotland?
Scotland, you remember, part of my blog title??
I found some DVD’s about the origin of the Scottish clans and the history of many Scottish castles along with a book on Celtic history. I borrowed them on Friday and today I watched the DVD’s with my mom.
The landscapes in these DVD’s were breathtaking. I felt transported to Scotland. I joked to Mom that I could picture myself stitching in a corner of a castle while flames roared in the man-sized fireplace. I said it jokingly but I really could picture it. Blame my over active imagination and too much period fiction! I am reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (which takes place in 18th century Scotland) and listening to Philippa Gregory’s The Other Queen about Mary Queen of Scots (who was a master of needlework – that might be a future blog topic!)
As wonderful as it was to learn about the history of my Scottish Ancestors (Clan MacLeod if you must know – another future blog topic I’m sure) the best part of the DVD’s was a section of poetry read while scenes of rural Scotland flashed on the screen. Mom and I were both quite touched by one of the poems which I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to hear read to me if not for my local library.
Thanks to a quick Google we discovered that Robert Burns penned Highland Mary which I’d like to share with you here:
|YE banks and braes and streams around|
|The castle o’ Montgomery,|
|Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,|
|Your waters never drumlie!|
|There simmer first unfauld her robes,||5|
|And there the langest tarry;|
|For there I took the last fareweel|
|O’ my sweet Highland Mary.|
|How sweetly bloom’d the gay green birk,|
|How rich the hawthorn’s blossom,||10|
|As underneath their fragrant shade|
|I clasp’d her to my bosom!|
|The golden hours on angel wings|
|Flew o’er me and my dearie;|
|For dear to me as light and life||15|
|Was my sweet Highland Mary.|
|Wi’ monie a vow and lock’d embrace|
|Our parting was fu’ tender;|
|And, pledging aft to meet again,|
|We tore oursels asunder;||20|
|But oh! fell Death’s untimely frost,|
|That nipt my flower sae early!|
|Now green ‘s the sod, and cauld ‘s the clay,|
|That wraps my Highland Mary!|
|O pale, pale now, those rosy lips||25|
|I aft hae kiss’d sae fondly!|
|And closed for aye the sparkling glance|
|That dwelt on me sae kindly!|
|And mouldering now in silent dust|
|That heart that lo’ed me dearly!||30|
|But still within my bosom’s core|
|Shall live my Highland Mary.|