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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: The Portal
By Amanda Brogan


A sea of books . . . an ocean of both knowledge and imagination is spread out before me. Like mighty waves swelling halfway to the high ceiling, shelves rise from the navy carpeted floor. With grace my fingers gingerly glaze over the titles, my eyes following along. The abundance of choices engulfs me and I wonder which portal I should enter first.

I could travel back to the 1960s on a hot summer day in Washington D.C. to join a dense crowd of thousands at the Lincoln Memorial. There I would listen in awe and shout out cheers as Martin Luther King, Jr. passionately delivers his monumental “I Have A Dream” speech - an oration that would change the course of American history.

I could spring into a zone of fantasy, where wardrobes become doorways to other lands and animals talk as freely as humans. Or I could burst into light-speed to a galaxy far from our own, discovering new planets and creatures as if they were merely dwelling in an unknown country across the sea.

With Christopher Columbus I could traverse the Atlantic on a Spanish merchant ship and prove once and for all that the world is indeed round. I would witness the dangers he encounters and praise the hand of Providence when at last we reach our destination.

In France I could visit the Eiffel Tower or gaze at the majesty of mighty stained-glassed cathedrals. I could dine in an elegant outdoor setting and at night I would watch the city of Paris light up like a pine tree at Christmas time. Millions of multi-colored lights shining like jewels in a dark mine.

In 19th century England I could sip tea in a Victorian mansion or explore the streets and corner shops of London with suited gentlemen and delicate ladies in fluffed dresses.

Investigating a crime scene, I could match wits with a brilliant detective and set out to expose a perpetrator of injustice.

What if I were to sit down in a vast green pasture with a handsome shepherd boy named David, listening intently as he sings psalms to the God of his ancestors? Soothing melodies would flow like a gentle stream from his hand-held harp, and I would close my eyes and praise along with him.

Next I might accompany the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys and stand by him as he plants church after church in Gentile cities that have never before heard the name of Jesus.

I could voyage with wise men as they search out a virgin-born child. I could sit on a mountaintop as Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount, or grip the stern of a tiny fishing boat and watch in wonder as He stills a furious sea. I would weep with His mother as He is led up a hill, stumbling from loss of blood and the weight of a heavy wooden cross on his freshly scourged back.

But then I would stand at the entrance to His tomb as the earth rumbles and the guarding soldiers fall faint. And I would watch as He later drifts up to Heaven above and promises to return sometime soon.

And then perhaps, I could even catch a glimpse of what life will be like for those who are left on earth after He returns, and the courageous saints that that time will produce.

All without even setting foot outside the library.

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This article has been read 644 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon04/24/10
What a wonderful story. I loved the title. So many books to choose from and all can transport us anywhere and everywhere but only one can save the soul. Thank you for sharing. God bless and keep writing.
Caitlyn Meissner04/27/10
That was beautiful! I loved it. Books always transport me to far off places too. :)
Angela King04/27/10
I can relate to everything to said! My favorite part about reading is being transported away, to experience what the characters experience. A good book can make you not want to come back to reality! lol! Nice piece!
angelos2 wark04/27/10
Great Title!

You summed it up well. We can be anything, any place, at any time in history and never leave our chair!
Well written.
Catrina Bradley 04/27/10
Perfect title, and a great essay on the power of books and of The Book in particular. Your writing skills very good!
Karen Macor04/27/10
I like your title. You made reading so enticing I think you could convert a non-reader. Good job.
Beth LaBuff 04/27/10
I love your title! You are exactly right with this creative entry.... we can visit so many places and times by traveling through "the portal" of books! Nice work!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/28/10
Your title is perfect. libraries are one of my favorite places. I enjoyed the journey you took me on.
Gerald Shuler 04/28/10
You write very clearly. I would like to go through other portals you have written.
Beth LaBuff 04/29/10
Amanda, congrats on your Highly Commended award!
Sara Harricharan 04/29/10
Oooh, a really good take on Reader! That's just what I think of books...portals to other "happy places". Excellently done!
Charla Diehl 04/30/10
Books are wonderful for so many reasons--I can spend hours in the used book stores here. So happy that your entry was recognized for its worth.
Gregory Kane05/11/10
Very well done. You certainly grabbed and held on to my attention
Gregory Kane05/11/10
By the way Columbus didn't set out to prove that the world was round. That was a well accepted fact. Rather people didn't know that America was there, so when they calculated the combined widths of the Atlantic and Pacific, they reckoned that no one could possibly survive such a long voyage. Columbus recalculated the distance, got it wrong, decided to take a risk on making it all the way to China, and the rest as we say is history.