The faded image of a paper found floating around our Children’s Book Network store after last week’s devastating floods says it all.
Stanford has been through a terrible week. First there was the image of our river entirely out of control. There was disbelief. (It can’t be coming through the door!) Followed by the shock – and the aftershock. Then the dazed cleaning up – a long and painful process. Then the glimmer of new ideas, of planning, of thinking about what was, and now is gone.
Because we are human, there is compassion for the many people who had it much worse. There is looking at what didn’thappen, at what is left. There is another after-shock about what could have happened. There is the walk to the now quietriver and the looking at the water – and the thinking.
All of this is punctuated by the calls and the emails and the offers of help; of the solidarity of the community, we play in and work with, and now grieve with. And then, there is – there has to be – hope.
In the case of Children’s Book Network, there will certainly be hope – and more reading.
Nobody lost their life in the floods, but many people lost their homes, their memories, their sense of security. Starting again is tough. We, and every one of us who lost so much less are deeply sorry. There is nothing else to say. Sterkte.
Children’s Book Network has been holding reading workshops in Stanford and Hermanus for seven years now. We work with under-resourced children between 10 and 12 years old to inspire them to read and enjoy books.
Lesley Beake September 2023