I was organizing bookshelves, always a dangerous proposition. I cannot move books without reading them, of course, and regularly lose half hours, even half days because of dropping down into a book. I also discover gems this way, too.
This time it was Testament of Trust, by Faith Baldwin. I took the book off the shelf and caressed it. Do any of you remember the writer Faith Baldwin? I have a number of inspiring role models, and Faith Baldwin is one for me. She was the first of the modern successful romance novelists. She was at her peek in the 1930s and continued writing a novel a year until her death in 1978– really, I believe her last book was published far after her death; I believe I bought it when I had begun writing, but I am not daring to go search the bookshelves to find it.
In addition to romances, Baldwin also wrote inspirational books. Testament of Trust is one of these. My copy bears a sticker from Crawford Book Mine, a used bookstore in Jacksonville, FL. That’s where I lived when I discovered Ms. Baldwin’s books in the library. I lived in the Five Points area and would walk the tree-shaded sidewalks to the grand old library, as they used to build them.
When I open the book now, a letter falls out. As a very young woman, with a hidden hope of becoming a writer, I wrote Ms. Baldwin, and she kindly wrote me back. Handwritten, with her personal address! My, how times change. I’m not so free with my address, I’ll tell you.
Testament of Trust has a first copyright date of 1958. It is divided into months, so I flip to August and skim. And I begin to chuckle and shake my head. Ms. Baldwin writes almost sixty years ago: “So many of my friends are chronically disturbed; they worry about wars, the stock market, the rising costs of everything and especially outer space.”
I am reminded: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Governments may come and go, now we use computers, don’t write books longhand, but our concerns and struggles remain the same.
A quote from Ms. Baldwin that has saved me many a time comes to mind. Perhaps it is in this book, and now I’m going to have to read the entire book to find it. The quote is:
Don’t worry about how you will make it through. You always have, haven’t you? ~Faith Baldwin.
Sending love and hugs,