I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien when I was 11. I can still remember the moment my classical guitar teacher loaned it to me.
During my lessons the pot-belly stove in the corner of their tiny living room boiled water in a kettle that sat on the top of the stove. After the lesson my teacher would give me a cup of tea which he served with a spoonful of sweet honey and milk, and we chatted while we drank. I loved it all – my lessons, the cup of tea, their tiny Bohemian home, the tranquility of the small rural community where they lived, and a glimpse into the private world of two very creative professional musicians.
In the middle of one of those chats he handed The Hobbit to me. He gave a shy, awkward girl the gift of (besides a riveting story) acceptance and belief. When he handed me the book I was invited into an initiation of adventure – not just in the pages of the story but in life.