Have you ever need to retrieve something from your storeroom only to find that the very item you need, seem to have been devoured by messiness of the room? After rummaging for a long time, you suddenly realised that you have unwittingly emptied the storeroom cos the very item you are seeking just so happens to be sitting right at the bottom, in the most inner corner of the store.
But, I am not complaining. Cos, along the way, I found my treasured copy of my favourite book! My favourite literature book “To kill a Mockingbird”. And a couple of other books I like to read again.
After so long (16 years), this is still my favourite passage. I still think this is one of the most beautiful passages every written. I am still moved every time I read it. Here it goes:
“Daylight…..in my mind, the night faded. It was daytime and the neighbourhood was busy. Miss Stephanie Crawford crossed the street to tell the latest to Miss Rachel. Miss Maudie bent over her azaleas. It was summertime, and two children scampered down the sidewalk towards a man approaching in the distance. The man waved, and the children raced each other to him.
It was still summertime, and the children came closer. A boy trudged down the sidewalk dragging a fishing-pole behind him. A man stood waiting with his hands on his hips. Summertime, and his children played in the front yard with their friend, enacting a strange little drama of their own invention.
It was fall, and his children fought on the sidewalk in front of Mrs Dubose’s. The boy helped his sister to her feet, and they made their way home. Fall, and his children trotted to and fro around the corner, the day’s woes and triumphs on their faces. They stopped at an oak tree, delighted, puzzled, apprehensive.
Winter, and his children shivered at the front gate, silhouetted against a blazing house. Winter, and a man walked into the street, dropped his glasses, and shot a dog.
Summer, and he watched his children’s heart break. Autumn again, and Boo’s children needed him.
Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.”
I grew up with this book and have read it countless times. At 15, when I first started reading it, it was homework to me. Reading it was studying. By the time, I have to answer exam questions on it, I was familiar with all the characters and the themes running through the book. Somehow, along the years, I was drawn time and again to pick up the book and re-read it. Everytime, I read it, I seem acquired additional perspectives that was absent before. These additional perspectives came from my experiences when growing up. This book accompanied right into adulthood and have helped shaped my values and beliefs in many little ways. Today, it is still teaching me about the way of life. Patiently. Repeating itself as many times as I care to read.