If you are unaware of what a literacy narrative is, it is defined as “a first-hand narrative about reading or composing (or teaching reading and composing) in any form or context.” My Advanced Comp. teacher had us write on this semester and I thought I’d share it. Hopefully it will give a little insight into my love for literature.
I remember my mother sighing as she threw back her head into the couch cushion. I was in kindergarten and she was trying her very best to teach me to read. What frustrated her the most was that she could never keep up with me. At only five and a half, I was zipping through elementary books before I ever finished my reader. It only took a school semester worth of reading and phonics exercises before my little self was completely engrossed in the world of literature.
I was given my own room at the age of six. My father had taught me to make tents under my sheets and I took full advantage of that opportunity when I moved out of my parent’s room. My mother frequently stumbled over the piles of books in my floor as she yanked away the sheet that made up the roof of a tent and revealed a youngster, who was supposed to be sleeping, deeply involved in the plot of a mystery novel. Many times such as those occurred; I would hide in a closet upstairs or sneak out to the yard so I could read my latest gripping library find and not have to do whatever chore I was really supposed to be doing.
My undying love for reading grew stronger with every word I saw. I read far beyond my grade level and participated in programs that awarded students with tickets to the local amusement park once they had read for so many hours. That was never a challenge for me because I read nonstop. It became my comfort zone and allowed me to escape reality and find myself in a different realm. I did not understood at that time that reading was what gave me confidence. It was the only thing I was comfortable with and it gradually took over me. Books made up who I was.
This sort of thing progressed as I aged, but then it all took a drastic turn. When I reached the age of thirteen, other things in my life suddenly became more important than my reading fetish. It took some time before I fully climbed out of my shell that consisted of just me and bunch of books being lonely together into a more confident disposition. If my personality now was compared to my personality at that age, no one would probably even recognize the timid little girl that preferred to be alone, but I grew out of that and nearly out of my love for reading. As I gained confidence and self-esteem, I no longer needed literature as a crutch for my insecurities. I could hold my own; there was no need to fling myself into the details of a book any longer. That is when my first love left. I had no need for books and they had no need for me.
It has not been until this very moment in time, here while I am writing this essay, that I have truly realized how much of an influence literature had in my childhood. It really could be compared to as a first lover. Just like many love stories though, the relationship ended. Here recently I have rediscovered that long lost love of mine. What is funny about it all is that it has just been one book that reignited the flame. That book has sat covered in dust on my shelf for quite some time and I thought it best to crack open the pages and read a little. That little turned into a lot, and that lot turned into an everyday habit. I know without a doubt that my love for this one book has been stronger, much stronger than my childhood love for any other work of literature. I presume that curiosity is growing, so I will share what my precious treasure of a book is. It is the greatest love letter ever written, the instruction manual for life, and my daily encourager: the Holy Bible. God’s Word has become so dear to my heart and made me fall in love with it more and more every day. I know it is a shame that I did not discover it earlier, since it has been right in front of me the whole time, but just as I left my first love and became self-confident and independent, my newly rekindled love for the Scripture has taken that confidence and taught me humility and servitude.
My love story for literature has spanned more than a decade. There has been joy, sorrow, and even a time of death where the love ceased. Miraculously, that love was resurrected by the greatest work of literature to ever catch someone’s interest. More importantly, my heart leaps with gladness to know that it captured my interest. I only pray that I never lose sight of that interest so that my love story with the Word will persist on until death parts us and I get to see the Word face to face.