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Apr 02, 2020

My Visit to the Red Bank Public Library

By Julia Mortimer

The white, cement building that has been long known as a Red Bank staple has been standing on West Front Street for a little more than 80 years. The building that has seen many local businesses come and go, and it has been there to educate, inform, and create a sense of community through it all. Yes, you’ve guessed it. The Red Bank Public Library, ladies and gentlemen! I regretfully mention that I have just recently visited this library for the first time, which should be a sin since I have surely passed the beautiful building at least a million times throughout the years. Though, I did frequent the hill to the left of the building for sledding when a heavy snow storm hit.

I finally opened my eyes and realized that the Red Bank Public Library has so many interesting offerings all year round. I was so relieved to find out that the library five minutes from my house offers a variety of classes from meditation to German club. As I shopped around the calendar, the meditation class really caught my eye. In the midst of a busy spring semester, I thought maybe I should give my mind and body a rest, giving meditation a go. Side note: these classes are free (college-budget friendly)! My relationship with concentration has been a rocky one, so I had little hope that meditation was a feat I could potentially conquer. After the meditation led by Denise Kornblatt, my mind was clear and my future with mindfulness was looking bright.

Meditation class is held every second and fourth Saturday of the month at 10:15 am. On the particular Saturday I decided to attend, it was a gray, rainy day. I packed my yoga mat, flipped on the windshield wipers, picked up my friend, Nichole, and drove down West Front Street toward the library.

We grabbed our mats and headed into the quant, historical building, I took a deep breath in because something about the smell of books puts me at ease. The view of the Navesink River is so beautiful and completes the exact ambience you’re looking for when in search of a clear mind and body. The meditation class was held in a room on the lower level, which surprisingly had a large window that looked over the Navesink too. Once we had settled onto our mats, we met Denise. She ran us through the process of the session, along with common misconceptions or ideas about what meditation is supposed to be. I was relieved when she said it was common to find difficulty in clearing your mind because I knew that was something I was going to struggle with.

The hour felt like 10 minutes. It was so relaxing, and I actually had an easier time than I thought controlling and focusing on my breathing, while not allowing my mind to wander to thoughts of what I was having for lunch later that day. Walking out of that class, I felt refreshed and clear-minded. I was ready to sit down with a book. I browsed the extensive book selection and picked up โ€œThe Snow Childโ€ by Eowyn Ivey. I had read it years ago and remembered enjoying it, so I wanted to catch up with the characters and reminisce. I sat in a chair closest to the window, read and occasionally zoned out with my eyes fixed on the river.

The Red Bank Public Library is more than just the place to go sledding after a snow storm; it’s a place that allows the public the chance to try a class, meet new people and fall in love with a hobby.