where the sidewalk ends

4

When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers… .
How did it go?
How did it go?
—  Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends