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…