As a child, my sister and I would spend the holidays with my Nan and grandad. We’d eat too many Mr Kipling cakes and always come home with a new toy.
Each morning my granddad would rise early and nip to the shops for a paper. He’d often visit the library for a novel or two. At home, he’d disappear into a world of fiction, armed with a strong mug of tea. Much to the annoyance of my Nan, who just didn’t and still doesn’t understand the appeal of printed word on paper.
The Lord of the rings cartoon would be on TV. That or Watership down. The movies went over my head, merely a background distraction. They held a sinister tone, that I didn’t understand or appreciate.
As time went by, the world changed, relationships altered and my family split in many different ways. My granddad chose a different life. He decided to spend his retirement in the Chelsea pensioner’s home. Not only did he leave his wife of 40 years but also vanished from our lives too. He retreated to a regimented, redcoat existence, far away from family obligations.
He did however pass down a hardback copy of the Lord of the rings by #J.R.R.Tolkien. With the message that he knew I’d appreciate the book.
I’d brush the glossy cover, feasting my eyes upon the unusual imagery. I’d open the thick, cream pages and luxuriate in the quality. My books were few and far between. And even though I lacked in education and didn’t identify the importance of literature, I treasured my books.
I just couldn’t bring myself to read it.
I kept that book in an old trunk in the attic, along with my dead mother’s jewellery. Until anger and grief hounded me, driving me to discard the book as I had so easily been.
The truth is, my granddad was right, I adore fantasy. I’m a daydreamer and a dweller of lost worlds. Places that only the imagination and creativity can reach.
Forgive me Tolkien, for I have never travelled your planes.
Forgive me grandad, for rejecting your final gift to me away.
I’m going to buy that #novel and add it my bookshelves.
What book holds strong emotions for you? Don’t be shy, share with me.
Thanks for reading.