Growing up in my family, no one sat around all day reading, especially not on a beautiful spring day. The adults occupied themselves with work around the yard and house, visiting with neighbors, fishing, shopping, working cows or building fences, etc. The kids occupied themselves with play or the same things as the adults.
Today, as I have on other occasions, I have broken with family custom and read and read and read. I’m now in the midst of This Far By Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience, by Juan Williams and Quinton Dixie. I am so loving it, but it is hard to because I keep feeling guilty that I’m not doing something physically productive (mowing) or physically engaging (cycling). There simply is no way to escape my past completely.
Mom has always been a book reader, but she only gets to do so in snatches. Dad has always been a newspaper reader, but the television is dominant. My sister is a big-time book reader and may have spent some long days reading during our growing up days, but I was primarily watching my parents and still compare the adult me to the adult them, and we are rather different even though we all love and enjoy one another.
So, I read. At some point I will get tired of sitting and reading and I will go for one of my book-walks (reading while I walk). In fact I think it’s time for that now. I don’t feel as guilty when I walk and read because I’m doing something with my body. It’s a compromise of sorts between me and my upbringing. I’m off.