Book Ends

I love book-ends.  They keep my books from toppling over.   They keep my books straight.  They do their part to help organize; they provide some boundaries; they hold my books together.   And they somewhat prevent the domino effect – you know what I mean, you lift down one book and then, they all fall down.  Of course my personal favorite is when they then to proceed to knock everything else off the shelf as well.    I’ve also noticed that book ends can actually create a bit more space on your shelves – you can spread your books out.  They can be part of the structure; they can be part of the decor; they can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and looks.   And of course, they are neccessary to the fine art of shelf arrangement.   

That being said.   This morning I realized how essential book-ends are to life – not just to shelves.  I spent the weekend in the mountains of western North Carolina with four book-ends.  Four very solid, very faithful books-ends.  And it was good.   really good.   

I realized that this weekend at Camp Rockmont, five old, old friends gathered together to be just that for each other:  book-ends.  Holding the outside firm and in place so that each in turn could lift down books off the shelf and do some reading; some dusting; some rearranging; some organizing; some re-writing even.   And wow! somehow these book ends made it ok for the books to be a bit of a mess in between.  How assuring and comforting and safe these book ends were: Carrie, George, Jenny and Liz (what a relief to find the shelf they’ve been sitting on for the last 10 years; what a joy to have dusted them off and placed them back on the shelf again). 

But books ends aren’t just for retreats in the mountains.   Book Ends are for life – they are for the journey.   We all need book ends.  Yes we all need friends, we all need family, we all need relationships.  But even more I think, we all need book ends.  Solid, faithful presences to stand beside us; to help hold us up when need be; and to move with us as our collections and lives expand and grow.   

No wonder, driving home yesterday, I spoke with a few more book ends: my Grandma and my Aunty Ruth.  And last night, Christy;this morning driving to church, a more local book end, Cameron and even now my phone buzzes reminding me of the message from yet another book end, Cynthia.  Book Ends living on shelves spread from Fairbanks, AK to Nashville, TN to Sheffield, England.   

Faithful, solid pillars of my life that make the shelves look more like a work of art; like a beautiful mess.  a beautiful, safe mess.

We need book ends.   I need book ends

thank you book ends.  thank you.