A mixed blessing, waking at 4:30 a.m. and having the mind start roiling with thoughts ~those woulda,coulda, shoulda thoughts that roughly agitate the brain like my old Maytag washing machine. Finally, to escape this disturbance, I throw back the covers and crawl out of the over-warm bed, step into slippers and sweater, and stumble into the cold house.
Now comes the blessing part, the part where I switch on the Christmas tree and light the candles on the mantel. The part where a room chilled by night silence and winter wind suddenly comes aglow with golden light. The part where coffee burbles into a clean pot, it’s rich brown scent wafting from the kitchen. The part where a big overstuffed chair becomes mine to curl up in, a soft blanket pulled over my shoulders.
What does this have to do with books? you might ask, this gift of an early Sunday morning when no one else is awake.
Well, the book is the biggest blessing of all, in these early hours when the mind is wont to travel to places where nothing but worry and fear and unease usually reside. The book gently takes me by the hand and pulls me away from all that, entices me with tales of other women who face sadness, betrayal, disappointment, all the emotional ups and downs of an ordinary life. Once again, I marvel at this gift of being able to write, to create other-worlds which allow people like me to escape for a moment into another person’s reality, this writerly gift of illuminating life and love and being with a unique warm and golden glow.