TIM HAS BEEN TRAVELING, which has rendered time slow, and my own. Every night I’ve headed to the bedroom early where I’ve stolen his pillow, snuggled under more blankets than my sweet husband can stand, and opened my book to read.
Then true to form I’ve promptly fallen asleep. Within 32 seconds or less, each and every night.
The upside is I’ve awakened each morning long before the sun. I throw on a sweatshirt, feed the dog and turn on every Christmas light in the house. Then for the next hour or two I pad around doing this and that, soaking up the dark and the quiet like an introvert just returned from a loud, boisterous party.
This morning was no exception. But this time I took my coffee to the living room where I sat facing the dark windows and the lake and the sunrise and I pulled out my book, to read.
I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who loves winter stories in the winter, my very, very favorite being Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice. (It seems I’ve written about it here and here and here on The Daily Grace so this may not be a revelation.) I’ve also pronounced Lee Smith’s The Christmas Letters the very most perfect Christmas book ever, going so far as to write a letter to Lee in the style of her heroine Birdie Pickett, a letter my favorite author read and even responded to (!) before I got the joy-of-my-life opportunity to study fiction writing with her a few years later. (Isn’t life beautiful that way?)
Anyway, this December finds me reading The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey. Y’all. This book. It is quiet and heartbreaking and tender and a marvel. I sat here reading in the dark and quiet and tears came, they did, real live tears because the story is just so touching. So moving.
Here is a bit:
All her life she had believed in something more, in the mystery that shape-shifted at the edge of her senses. It was the flutter of moth wings on glass and the promise of river nymphs in the dappled creek beds. It was the smell of oak trees on the summer evening she fell in love, and the way dawn threw itself across the cow pond and turned the water to light.
Mabel could not remember the last time she caught such a flicker.
She gathered Jack’s work shirts and sat down to mend. She tried not to look out the window. If only it would snow. Maybe that white would soften the bleak lines. Perhaps it could catch some bit of light and mirror it back into her eyes.
I love this book. I love the cover of this book*.
I love December.
30 Days of Joy