It's always startling to think that a year is half-way gone. Don't laugh; but twenty-three feels older than I've felt before, not just because I am, but maybe because I have passed an invisible inner curtain. In some ways it has felt like a season of spiritual heart-searching and uncomfortable questions; in other ways it has felt like a season of selling books and housesitting and enjoying those things.
Half the year is almost gone. I told my mom the other day that I'd read more children's books this year. They are easy; fast; beloved. A lot of them are books I hadn't read in my childhood, new worlds of wonder (A Wrinkle in Time, Boys of Blur). Some (Narnia, Gone-Away Lake) are remembered books I'm returning to.
Last month the sis and I spent the most time we've ever spent away from our parents, house-sitting by ourselves. It was another milestone; a passing of something. On those days I propped open my eyes well after midnight to read a bit of Henry V and feel impressed with myself--or to read The Borrowers, with their clash of whimsy and bittersweetness. A book like The Borrowers leaves you with a gentle ache afterward.
And there are more memories still--memories of reading about a sweet-souled girl fighting for right and justice after she is pulled out of Earth into a new kingdom of responsibilities. (Crowning Heaven) That book was read on a Saturday with drizzle in the air, as we traveled to an open house. And it was read again the following day on the way to church--cramming in a tense scene as we pulled into the parking lot. Another memory.
I won't remember all these memories. Life moves fast--sometimes it's hard to remember what I did a few days ago. But those memories are becoming me--heart and soul layered with the richness of living, whether I can call them to mind or not.
It's really a wonderful world--sitting with a warm breakfast plate and an open Bible, looking out our back window at the chipmunk who likes to sit on our step of a morning. Eating a warm British muffin with jam and then cracking open Psalm 119 for another round of working at getting its words into my mind. Deciding at random to open The Valley of Vision and start the day with a prayer. Sometimes I forget life is wonderful when there are things to stress and wonder at--niggling sins in my own soul that can lead to a cess-pit of naval-gazing. But it is, after all, the remembrance of the small things that helps us stay steady--something a friend's quote on Instagram reminded me of:
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. ~The HobbitIf my heart while writing this post could be summed up in a piece of music (and I am so not the person to draw these sorts of comparisons) it would probably be John Debney's Elephant Waterfall. The frailty--the love--the change--they all ache in a terrible, wonderful way which the music perfectly captures.
So here's to new memories this summer--a cascade of them, found in turning book pages and coffee shop visits--in my first all-girl road trip and maybe, at long last, conquering Psalm 119. In dreaming of the next teaching year. In nights of gladness and tears.
I am eager for more layers in my soul.