Serendipity

Have you ever noticed that certain books enter your life when you need them the most?

Last year when Caribou died I was devastated and grieving – really inconsolable…and I picked up In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld. For some reason, that book spoke to my emotions and grief and helped heal me. It was exactly the right book for me to read at that time. It is a book that has found its way into my heart and will always have special meaning to me because of when I read it.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a book in the bookstore and picked it up. I really did not even read the blurb…I just felt drawn to the cover and the title and bought it. I put the book on my mountainous TBR stack where it has laid gathering dust. The other day, I happened to be looking through my stacks, and once again, the book drew me to it, and I decided I was going to finally read it.

Let me go back…the last several months have been personally and emotionally challenging for me. I admit, I’ve struggled a bit. I’ve been feeling tired and overworked, I’ve been dealing with some difficult news, and I’ve been questioning God’s plan in my life. Suffice it to say that joy has been hard to find these days.

Here is what Kathleen Dean Moore writes in her introduction to Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

This is a book about the comfort and reassurance of wet, wild places. I have felt their peace, the steady surge and flow of the sea on sand, water slipping over stones. There is meaning in the natural rhythms of dying and living, winter and spring, bones and leaves. Even in times of bewilderment or despair, there is the steadfast ground underfoot – pine duff, baked clay, stone turned red in rain. I am trying to understand this, the power of water, air, earth, and time to bring gladness gradually from grief and to restore meaning to lives that seem empty or unmoored.

Wow – that really speaks to me. I have often looked to nature to restore my soul…it is where I feel closest to God and where I choose to ground myself.

I am loving this book – in every paragraph, Moore speaks to my soul. This is the perfect book for me to read right now…

What is it about a book that can transport us to another place and fill the void in our heart or soul? What is it about the power of words to lift our spirits or give meaning back to us?

It is a mystery to me why the books I need find their way to me just when I need them the most. I could have read this book weeks ago, but it was NOW that I needed to open myself to Moore’s wisdom and observations.

In the very first chapter, Moore writes about snakes and the solace they offer:

Do not be surprised  that the return of the light lifts your spirits. Do not be surprised that warmth on your back calms you and makes you glad. Feel your spirits lift as the sun rises higher in the sky: this is part of you, this snaky gladness, part of who you have been for a million years. Find the warm places; do not expect them to come to you. when you find them, stay there and be still. Be still and watchful. In this quiet, taste the air. Lick up the taste of it. Listen. Listen with the full length of your body against the ground.

Today I think I will find a warm place…

Photo Credit – Nick Scobel

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22 comments

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  1. I am thinking about you, and happy for the books in your life.

    • Wendy on August 9, 2010 at 09:29
      Author

    Thank you, Beth…

    • Molly on August 9, 2010 at 09:31

    Yes, I have witnessed this same marvel in my own reading life – and I would even say that it is Serendipity that I read this review today. This sounds like a perfect book for where I find myself at this point in life. Thank you, Wendy!

  2. I’m sorry you’re going through a tough time right now and I hope and pray for peace for you.

  3. What a lovely post! Hope you found your warm place today.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us – it looks like something I would really enjoy myself. Believe it or not, even though I live right on a bay, I’ve been resisting the restorative powers of nature. The last few days I’ve been telling myself that I MUST get out there. Reading your post was just the nudge I needed.

    Hope this book marks a turn around for you!

  4. Caribou was lucky to have you. Kindness is the best we mortals can do.

    • J.G. on August 9, 2010 at 15:35

    Books are one of the ways the Universe sends us what we need. I find that to be true again and again. Hope it continues that way for you, too.

    • gavin on August 9, 2010 at 15:51

    It is amazing how what we need can fall into our hands. This sounds like a wonderful book, I think I will have to find it. Be well, Wendy.

    • Laura on August 9, 2010 at 17:01

    Wendy, that’s marvelous. I’m glad you found this book, you deserve simple pleasures and things that give comfort. xoxo

    • caitlin on August 9, 2010 at 17:09

    i want to read this book. it sounds amazing. thinking of you all!

    • Wendy on August 9, 2010 at 18:26
      Author

    You’re welcome, Molly – this is such a peaceful book…a wonderful book.

    Thank you, Kathy – it has been a rough time for me…I’m hoping for some peace too.

    Gwendolyn: Thanks for your kind words…I DID find my warm place today and it was very restorative…hope you find your way out to nature soon, too.

    Shelley: Thanks – I actually feel I was lucky to have Caribou 🙂 I think we were good for each other.

    J.G.: Books are wonderful friends, aren’t they?

    Gavin: Thank you – I think you would love this book too.

    Laura: *big hugs*

    Caitlin: Thanks for stopping in…you would love this book. Thank you for thinking of us *hugs*

    • Teddy on August 9, 2010 at 21:06

    I’m so glad you have found a book that is perfect for you. I know you are going through a tough time. I am thinking of you and your family. Hugs!

  5. Hope things will turn out ok for you soon.

    • Aths on August 10, 2010 at 06:29

    I’m praying for you and hoping that this too passes soon. It is great when a book can bring peace to our minds – I have felt that often and in the process learnt a lot about myself, and sometimes changed my priorities.

  6. It’s always so amazing when this happens to me, so I know just what you mean. Books are amazing things. They have the power to make you think, to improve you, to teach you, and sometimes to comfort you. I hope that things in your life get calmer soon and that you are able to find your way towards peace and fulfillment. Take care of yourself.

    • Staci on August 10, 2010 at 17:14

    God knew you needed this book and that is why you were so drawn to it again!! I feel the same way about nature and how it helps a person heal. Beautiful post.

  7. I have always seemed to find the right book at the right time also. I’m glad you found what you needed, when you needed it the most.

  8. This sounds like a fantastic book, Wendy! I love the quote. I recently had this experience too, of finding a book that I almost felt was written for me. For some reason, I’m finding it very difficult to review though!

    Hope you found a warm place!

  9. I’m sending you warm ((hugs)) and hope things turn around for you. I actually really appreciate the first quote as well. It is so needed in my life too. I’m praying for you.

    • Wendy on August 15, 2010 at 08:27
      Author

    Teddy: Thank you for your kind thoughts.

    Mystica: thank you!

    Aths: Thank you for your prayers…It is so true that a book can change our perspectives and priorities.

    Zibilee: Yes…they do all that, don’t they? It is one reason I love to read. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

    Staci: Thank you – I agree, God knows what our hearts need and provides it…we just have to be open and accepting.

    Kathleen: Thank you.

    Avis: I had to think for a couple of days before I could review this book. I’m glad you found the “right” book too.

    Wisteria: *hugs back* Thank you for your warmth and prayers…it means a lot to me.

  10. Serendipity. One of my favorite words. I had a book in my stacks for several months, yet as usual continued to ignore it. A friend loaned it to us, knowing we’d enjoy the musical references. My husband read it and said it was fantastic. I continued to ignore it. Then we suffered the worst loss ever. I took the book to Virginia and began to read it. When I reached for my highlighter, I knew I needed to buy my own personal copy. And from then on, every night in our hotel room, I’d curl up with the book, highlighter in hand, clinging to the words as if holding on to a lifeline. If any book could bring me comfort, it was Neil Peart’s memoir, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road. He lost not only his daughter, but a year later, his wife. One of these days, I’ll write a review of this excellent memoir.

    Hugs to you, dear friend. I wish I could help you through this rough time…

    • Wendy on August 23, 2010 at 07:44
      Author

    Les: It is so amazing, isn’t it? You HAVE helped me…just knowing I am in people’s thoughts and prayers is a HUGE help. *hugs back*

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