One Important Lesson
Editor’s note: If you have had any interaction with Book Harvest over the past year — either as a volunteer or a book donor or even just stopping by to pick out books with your kids — you have probably had the opportunity to get to know our Johnson Service Corps member, Jeni. We are sad to be saying goodbye to Jeni this week, as she wraps up her time with us and heads off on her next adventure (as a librarian in Colorado!). Here’s a reflection Jeni wrote as part of her final project with Johnson Service Corps. The photo above was taken as she presented this reflection along with a diorama she created, in which she reimagined a city through a child’s eyes.
By Jenitza Pierce, Johnson Service Corps member and Book Harvest intern
As I prepare to say my last goodbyes to the wonderful staff and volunteers I’ve worked with this year, I realize that there is so much I could write about my experiences at Book Harvest! However, I’ve decided that I only need to share one experience to sum up a special way that I’ve been changed since starting here.
On a day much like any day at the Book Harvest Office, a mother and her 5-year-old child were making use of the services that our organization provides. While mom was busy having a serious conversation with a coworker, the 5-year-old decided to have a friendly conversation with me. “What’s that?” he said, pointing to an object on a couch. The object was just an oddly shaped pillow, so although it seemed obvious what it was to me, I suppose I could understand why a young child might not recognize it immediately. “It’s a pillow,” I explained. “No, it’s not,” He said, matter of factly. “It’s a train.” He then proceeded to hop onto the pillow and ride it around the room.
It seems silly, but he had a point! The only person limiting what that pillow could be was me. I’m not sure why the power of imagination that we have as kids (the power that allows us to see beyond what meets the eye to interpret possibilities) dulls as we get older. Working with kids of all ages at Book Harvest helped me to tap into imagination again. After this year, I have to ask myself if the grown-up culture of limiting something’s potential to only what it’s supposed to be, is really something that I want to carry into the next part of my journey. I’m not leaving Book Harvest empty-handed, but instead, I’m holding fast to the courage to reimagine myself and the world around me. Thank you to everyone who has invested in my journey this year!