Friday, April 2, 2010

"Until Then" from Terra

Hello, beloved fans of Little Shop of Stories:

Today marks possibly one of the saddest days in my own private collection of those we get handed by life from time to time. For the last five years, it has been my pride, honor, and delight to dedicate a big portion of my energy and time, helping to make Little Shop of Stories the bookstore you all know and love. Now, as many of you already know, I am leaving my post as Bookseller Extraordinaire there, in order to focus more on my writing, but also to take up a position as the Assistant Programming Director of the Decatur Book Festival. I'm not going that far, and I'm not going completely away. I will maintain both my book groups, Kids and Companions, and Page Turners, and will of course still be teaching Creative Writing camp in the summer. We'll still see each other. We'll still get to share our excitement about reading and books. 

But, it's true that we won't be seeing each other as much as we used to. Which, I have to admit, is a rough thing for me to face. Because as much as I love the beautiful yellow space of Little Shop of Stories, as much as I love the books on its shelves, and the people --my family-- who work there, it just really isn't as fun a place if it doesn't have you all in it, and especially not your children. 

There are so many things to say on a day like today, but the biggest one I want to make sure I say to all of you is, simply, thank you. Thank you for sharing all your amazing children with me--for trusting me to get down and talk with them on their level, and for letting me help them make friends with new books. Thank you for including me in their birthday parties and weekly Thursday night traditions as storytime lady, and for bringing them to our events, parties, and author signings so that we could get jazzed and excited together. Thank you for letting me play with them for weeks at camp. Thank you for sending them, independent of you, inside to pick up a last-minute birthday party gift card, or to come and hang out for a couple of hours after school. Thank you for their smiles and their friendship. Thank you for making sure they have books in their lives. 

There's a story by David Lucas that has become sort of my favorite picture book of late. I read it last night at my final storytime. It's called The Robot and the Bluebird. In it, there is a robot who's heart has busted. The other robots can't fix it, and so they leave him out on the junk heap. Eventually a bluebird comes by, tired and cold and exhausted from fighting a winter storm. The robot tells her there is a place where his heart used to be, where she could rest for the night. In the morning, when the bluebird flies out, refreshed, happy and singing, the robot feels as though it is his own heart that is flying and singing. He decides to carry the bluebird the rest of the way South, to where it is warm. When they finally make it, the robot is too worn out and exhausted to go on. Just before he completely runs down forever, he tells the bluebird she can live in his heart, always. And she does.

I'm not a robot, and I'm not by any means running down.  
But you all . . . you are all bluebirds.
And you will be in my heart, always. 

Your friend in books,

Terra Elan McVoy
(Former Manager, and former Bookseller Extraordinaire, forever a part of Little Shop of Stories) 

1 comment:

mabila said...

Oh, Terra, we shall miss you so much! I'm glad Tristan will have the chance to work with you at Creative Writing camp this summer, and I hope we'll still manage to run into you on a regular basis. I'm sad to see you go -- but so happy that your writing career has taken off to the point to make this necessary! ~Abbey