The Secret Sauce

The slip appears somewhere in chapter four.

It’s the list of someone else’s checked out library books.

The Personality Brokers: The Strange History of Myers-Briggs & the Birth of Personality Testing, Whiskey in a Teacup (by Reese Witherspoon), The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife (the book I am reading), Affordable Interior Design, The DIY Style Finder, The New Organic Grower, Husbands That Cook.

And I become smitten with this library patron. Not for the books themselves, though they constitute a fine and lively roster. But for the far-flung curiosities they cover. It’s not a look-at-me list - Oh, you know, I’m reading Molière’s oeuvre. But I find the neoclassicists so gauche, don’t you? It’s a this-is-interesting-to-me list.

It’s a sweet, unadorned peek into a person’s life, isn’t it? Like looking at someone’s grocery items at checkout: a wedge of good gouda, store-brand cinnamon raisin bread, Windex, two grapefruit, cotton balls.

Maybe this library patron is looking for the secret sauce to spiffy up the mud room, get her or his husband to cook dinner with the organic oregano from the kitchen garden (while also trying to better understand said hubby’s personality and the stoned sloth in said garden). And maybe I’ve got it all wrong.

But what I’m pretty sure I have right is that our curiosities are brilliant clues as to what’s meaningful for us. When we dismiss them as trivial, the only thing we risk is reducing our fulfillment.

Library user, I hope you find the answers you’re looking for in those pages; may they make the path ahead a smoother one. And thank you for reminding me to make time for our curiosities. I think they might be the secret sauce.

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