I was a child the first time I ever met Jonathon. The small house I grew up in had a bookcase that created the wall of the staircase leading to my parents' upper story bedroom. There were so many books up there to explore, most of them books my dad collected about WW2 airplanes or locations National Geographic sends well-studied photographers to explore.
I'd sit on the floor staring at the books wondering which ones I might actually be able to read and found this little paperback book with its failing binding stuck to one of the larger books. The bird on the cover captured my attention immediately, although I didn't understand a word of what I read. My spiritual exploration of life wouldn't happen for a few more decades until after I finally realized I wouldn't find the answers I was seeking in a church.
After the failure of my marriage, the loss of my income, a hospital stay I didn't think I'd survive, and a few weeks of absolute pure misery as all I knew was slipping away, Jonathon found me again. He was sitting on a bookshelf like he was the first time we met and he nudged me for a visit. This time I definitely understood his language and he helped me see what I had been missing for so long.
Subject to the frailties of this human shell, I realize I have much to learn yet and I carry Jonathon with me everywhere I go. He is literally never more than a hundred feet away from me. Anytime I'm near a used bookstore, I clean out any copies of his tales I can to give away so others can meet Jonathon, too. He's helped me offer soothing words to the survivors of those not with us anymore and lifted others to see that their unremarkable state is stunningly more than enough and therefore remarkable beyond measure.
I've read about Jonathon to my children so many times and though they don't understand all the words or the meanings, they never walk away and are rapidly learning level flight.
After Jonathon, I also came to understand why and how we are our own messiahs. Though Jonathon may not be a messiah and I wouldn't dream of raising him to that level for all I've learned, he is the teacher that finally reached me when I most desperately needed one, and I will forever be grateful he came back into my life.
Thank you, Jonathon, and if you'd ever be willing, I'd cherish some time with you at Far Cliffs.