The reading journey takes us to places we’ve never been in our lives. Maybe we travel to Europe, visualizing the scenes described in the pages of our books. Perhaps we journey to another time, and begin to empathize with those experiences.
My current read is a book that wraps me up in the Scandinavian experience, beginning in the late 1800s. Back to the time when my maternal grandmother walked those streets and wished for a life in America, where some of her family had gone ahead of her.
Hanna’s Daughters, by Marianne Fredriksson, tells a story about mothers and daughters. But even more, this book offers “an unerringly perceptive portrait of women in the flux of Scandinavian history.”
As I read along with this tale that moves between the past and the present, taking me into the experiences of these women, I visualize my grandmother. And recall some of the stories she told me during one special summer in my seventeenth year. A tale of adventure born of wishes, dreams, and hope.
Her story continues, taking me across the ocean to America, and to her final destination in California. Her tale unfolds around the turn of the century as she creates an independent life for herself. I like to believe that she inspired my own journey, with her stories of wishes, dreams, and hope.
What inspires you? Who or what has been your touchstone for the life you’ve carved out for yourself?