To books in a moment.
But first, it's been a very slow week this week, due mainly to me putting my back out last weekend and having to go at a snails pace. I know this is no bad thing, and in many ways it's my body giving me a very strong message to slow down, do less.
In spite of my discomfort, I have been thoroughly enjoying the arrival of spring. Instead of rising in darkness each morning, I get up to the beginnings of dawn, to beautiful cool blue skies and blooming tangerine tinged clouds, the quiet garden a palette of jade like an opaque frosty painting through my window. And the moon on it's way to bed, a stripy orange tiger moon slung low over the pink mountaintops, sinking away into tomorrow, barely saluting the sun as it sidles up over the sea, beginning the day.
And the day holds a ghostly haze over itself, softening the distant view, blurring and blending in pale hues that stir up memories of distant shores and other stories we made.
All week I have been held afloat by stories. Stolen moments that are little snapshots that form a curiously familiar resonance. As I am forced to pause, letting the carousel slow and gradually stop, I see My Only Girl unknowingly follow in my childhood footsteps, her unquenchable thirst for books, for new stories, taking her path in eager, single-minded directions. And I am amazed to see a confidence, only recently acquired, as she purposefully navigates her way through the doors and out into the world where she can go after what she wants, and boy is she persistent!
And so, surrounded by piles of books, bought, borrowed, received, and in between high spirited, busy socialising, she submerges herself in other worlds, and no world is left unexplored.
And for myself, my strange book famine continues, with my usual pile of bedside books left lying, gathering dust, while stories stream out of my head in an unstoppable torrent. An interior world now populated by people whose voices I cannot quiet.
Yet though I do not read for myself, each day ends with a little row of heads on my pillows, and the soft rustle of pages turning as eager faces listen quietly, and they hear about Mole and Ratty and Toad, and Gulliver, and Aladdin, and Alice. And as the book closes softly, and night draws around us, I marvel at the power of the tale, the fathomless, resounding chimes that each one creates deep inside the heart of a child. A staggering wealth that is created in a place so deep I wonder do we ever know it's true importance.