A Girl of the Limberlost
I was the first born child. A step daughter to my new bi-polar, alcoholic father by the age of three. A half sister to the two girls that would come. A shame on my mother.
Books gave me a haven. A place to escape the harsh reality of my young life. To know that I was not alone. That my need to question things and disbelief in the cruelty of man did not go unmatched nor call for the punishment I received for such thoughts.
Sometimes he took my books from me. His face twisted with rage, a being not of this world. I would cry myself to sleep as silently as possible to avoid stepping on the proverbial egg shells.
For fourteen years I survived by entering the minds of others. The day he tossed my meager belongings into trashbags and littered the frosted grass with them was the day I became free.
I'd spent 17 years on this rock we call earth but I had not known freedom like that since my first few years of life. Sleeping in my car was a small price to pay for such joy. Had I known that graduation from High school would emancipate me I would have applied myself more. Has potential, does not apply herself.
The very first book to touch my soul wasn’t the first I’d read, my world had been filled with reading from the start. This special gift my Mother gave to me will never be forgotten.
The first book to speak to my soul was “A Girl of the Limberlost” by Gene Stratton-Porter. Even in my time this was considered a very old book. Maybe some well meaning faerie left it for me as the means of my obtaining the book remain a mystery to this day.
Like my life, I inadvertently read the second book prior to the first. If you knew my life story this statement would make more sense.
I related to the heroine. She too was poor, unwanted and raised on sadness. She found her true self in the forest. Nature and a violin to guide the way. To my childs mind this remedy was bliss and I yearned for such a path.
It opened my soul to possibility and for this I shall ever be grateful.