“The Bright Lamp of Knowledge”

Dear Reader:

The garden stepping stone in front of some fresh flowers at the house appeared via UPS (from Jo and Colby) yesterday afternoon…early birthday present. I love it…as soon as the flowers wilt I will place it in the garden…the stepping stone will add so much color and vitality to the walk-way through my beloved sanctuary!

Thank you, beyond measure, for this gift (Jo and Colby) that will become part of one of my favorite places on earth while I still live on this planet.

Jo had also sent me a short descriptive tale from the perspective of a book talking to a reader…she found it in an old book her aunt gave her… Fairoaks …going back to 1957…it was located on the back cover. She loved it and thought I would too and oh how I do! I hope you enjoy it also!


The author of the book, Fred Yerby, is an interesting fellow! He became the first African American writer to sell more than a million copies of  one of his novels  (The Foxes of Harrow) and to have the same book adapted into a movie by a Hollywood studio. He garnered legions of loyal fans of his writing.

“A Book Speaks” really spoke to me.  It touched my heart, my memory, and my overwhelming gratitude from a lonely child for whom a book was a constant friend in a world that had turned upside down… as I went from relative to relative following my daddy’s untimely death and mother’s loss of her left arm to bone cancer.. “

A Book Speaks

“By day and night, I am at your side, waiting for you to listen to my voice.

At an instant, I am ready to amuse, entertain, and guide you. Between my covers you will find the heartaches, passions, dreams, struggles and aspirations of mankind.

I bring you laughter and tears, amusement and learning, gaiety and the wisdom of  the human race. I can make your heart of hearts throb with sympathy or leap with joy. 

Neither time nor space exist for me. 

The ancient past, the fleeting present, the marvels of the future – all are inscribed upon my leaves.

At your will, I transport you to great cities which time has destroyed or project you into the vastness of the future.

With me as guide, you can range the world at will, travel polar regions, traverse deep jungles, penetrate the depths of earth, cross burning deserts, walk lonely prairies. 

“I am both the bright lamp of knowledge for the little childand the understanding companion of the aged.

What men prize above all else is written within me. The ideas for which wise men risk their lives, the discoveries achieved by scientists with toil and years of struggle, the splendid lines written with heart’s blood of unrecognized poets, the revelations of prophets-all are of my vast treasure. 

And I am a reflection of the moods of men. Sometimes I endure for a century; again I may fade in a single year. Yet – though I last for generations or brighten but a tiny moment of time, I add value to the lives of all men. 

To king and emperor, statesman and sage, outcast and pariah, I speak the same accents. It is all one to me…be a man of success or failure, a rich man or beggar. 

The key of hope, curiosity, and ambition unlock my vault- and all are welcome to the hoard therein.

Many have feared and hated, loved and honored me through the centuries. I have incited revolutions and shaken the foundations of society.

At times men have sought to destroy me forever – but all such essays end in failure. 

I live. I will live forever.

For it is not given to men to efface me.

I am a book-your friend, guide, entertainer, counsellor and always your servant.

I wait upon your pleasure. I am yours to command.”


So until tomorrow…When I was little…I used to ask every book before I started reading it…”Will you be my friend forever?”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh (Reading with Friends Day)






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “The Bright Lamp of Knowledge”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a beautiful gift …and I need to get a copy of this for my little voracious reader Ellie.


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Thank you, Becky, for continuing to decipher the small print I had on my text. I enjoyed it even more the way you wrote it and separated it so that I could savor each thought. Sorry the gift was early, but with things as they are, we are never sure of delivery dates. Colby has been attending Clemson at home on line as the August move in date was postponed. She leaves tomorrow for her new home for a while in a dorm at Clemson. She is a little nervous, but beyond excited. Me? I am so excited for her as this class has learned how to wait and find blessings in the wait time. And now, the wait is over for this journey. May God bless all students and teachers as they maneuver through these difficult times.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Our Colby…that is true…this pandemic/quarantine has been a lesson in waiting hasn’t it? We will all be stronger for it…not expect to have things immediately but understand the anticipation and perseverance … qualities needed in life…to endure.
      Please send me Colby’s Clemson address …I will get a card off today…so she will have something in her mail box when she opens it.


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