Sunday, September 11, 2022

What I learned in Mrs. Hunt's Fourth Grade Class

Every day after lunch in Mrs. Hunt's fourth grade class 

we returned from recess and sat at our desks and listened

to her read aloud to us from a story book (which happened 

to be The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford). I don't remember 

the sound of her voice. Or if she was sitting or standing. Or the sound 

of her turning the pages. Just the pleasure of listening to her read a story.

The chance to use my imagination to conjure pictures out of words. 

To wrap myself in the magic of a story. That was years ago, decades, and 

I still remember sitting at my desk in her fourth grade class after lunch 

listening to her reading to us--to me--and feeling a mysterious vibration 

as strong as an invisible electrical current pass through the classroom 

from her to us as she shared her love of words and stories. And now, 

years later, I wish I could tell her that I remember her reading to us, 

and how those moments in her class were filled with the secret pleasure 

that only stories can provide. She's long gone now, but in my memory 

she is still reading aloud to us, still teaching us things like the nature of love

and devotion, subjects that weren't part of the curriculum, still taking the time 

to convey to us the value of words, the magic of stories, and the power of love.