When life has become too complicated, when things are just too much, go borrow a good book from the nearest child. Or, better, revive that fine old custom of sitting down of an evening to read to children. Know for a short time once again the astonishment of being.
"Childhood is not something which dies within us and dries up as soon as it has completed its cycle," philosopher Franz Hellens wrote. "It is not a memory. It is the most living of treasures and it continues to enrich us without our knowing it." Adults need to curl up with a good tale as much as any child. Good reading can foster and restore in us and in our children a hope-filled approach to living. The encounter of one imagination with another can "purge from our inward sight," says the poet Shelley, "the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being." Good books remind us of the riches we already possess: the ability to see beauty everywhere, the capacity for awe and for compassion, for taking joy and delight in the simplest things.