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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

A Tap on the Shoulder

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

I would like to begin with a word of caution

Do not fret, there’s nothing to fear ahead

Never underestimate those childish tales

The lessons in the books you’ve read...

"When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea."

I remember sitting criss-cross on the floor, legs scratchy from the navy-blue carpet and fingers toying with its loose fibers. Mrs. Heart (yes, that was her real name) held the book that she read aloud to me and my fellow classmates. It would fwip at the turn of a new page, each glossy, and producing an even more colorful image than the last.

I recall shapes of lilac and magenta scattered throughout the pages as she told of the Lupine Lady’s journeys. Clearing her voice, she continued to the next passage:

"'You must do something to make the world more beautiful.' 'All right,' said Alice, but she did not know what that could be."

Such words and images would leave an imprint on my mind. It became the type of thing that would arise out of nowhere over the years. On occasions acting as a whispering thought or a tap on the shoulder. It was only until I grew older that I really knew what it meant. That isn’t to say I didn’t know beforehand.

But in that moment, what more was Miss Rumphius to me than a bunch of scribbles and sounds?

And yet, they stuck with me. As for why? That is something I don’t know. But heed my earlier warning as it was when I had grown older, wiser, and more mature, that I finally understood just what they meant.

Years went by, I found my older, wiser self slouched at a desk, rattling my brain for anything as I stared at a blank document. I had notes full of rhymes and ideas, and made my attempt to stitch them together into a book.

Admittedly, I may not have been in the best state of mind to be writing a book (then again, when is anyone?). Having been miserable throughout high school, I thought this perhaps could change everything. I longed for the days of when there wasn’t a care in the world. Days like the one when we read the Lupine Lady. Though, in an effort to be short and sweet, that’s a story for another day.

Needless to say, I did eventually find my way through high school, and a year early at that! After much hard work and dedication, I began my education in the Baking and Pastry Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence RI during my senior year of high school through the Early Enrollment Program.

Now I find myself doing what I love almost every day, learning and creating new confections. I couldn’t be happier!

Now, what does this have to do with anything? It made me realize just how much my work is a product of me, influenced by my happiness. So, the summer after my freshman year, I decided to return to that book, and it was as if I felt a little tap on the shoulder again.

This is only a fraction of my story, and only one of the many books I read as a child. But as you go about my blog, I would like for you to take a moment and reflect on the book you grew up with, and the secrets they hold. What may have been a mess of scribbles and sounds then, could be a lesson for today.

Side note: these posts were created for and during a class in college- if you see any images that you recognize or may be your own, please let me know! I will happily give credit or remove any images!

1 Comment

Tom Bruynell
Tom Bruynell
Mar 25, 2019

Your gifs were really cute, I loved the bunny! I'm looking forward to your future posts!

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