Of Old Books and the Story in Shelves

The smell of old books and old furniture wakes me up this morning.  It's a day before Christmas and things are slowly starting to sink in.  This season of gifts.

And the best gift will always be the remembrance of home.  It is when I remember where I came from that everything uncertain becomes an appreciated mystery of faith.

Breakfast was filled with musings of family history.  My grandmother's scrambled eggs recipe.  The dining chairs where they used to sit.  The living room filled with photographs of aunts and uncles.  The wall of college diplomas.  Thoughtful chatter of the night before.

Christmas is always that moment of honoring and remembering the gift woven by ties of family.  The wrinkled and crooked. The smooth and entwined.

There is nothing like coming back to the old home town where the most early memories of joyful play never fails to warm the heart.   The first childhood friends.  The first set of stories.

It's important to keep remembering these first experiences because it roots me in.  It draws me down to anchor.  It holds everything that was falling apart.

It becomes easier to stand when you know the ground you're standing on.

There is something strong and firm about the collective memories of family.  And I let it all just take root in me again this morning.  Sitting here in my grandparents' home.  A treasure box of memories and history.  Gratitude seeps in gracefully.  Quietly weeding out the debris of the busy life.  Unraveling time so that it lengthens conversations and togetherness until the meaningfulness of these moments are shared to the full.

I relish the cozy corners.

I take it slow and deliberate.

Time falls into a rhythm suitable for a thoughtful turn of events.  Here everything is soft.  There is no need for hurry.  Food is chewed along with joyful banter.  Conversations are never without the crazy splatter of  laughs.  And afternoons though lazy are warm in anticipation of the next moment's company.

The dogs fall asleep at your feet.  There is a stray rooster that crows in a random hour.  And the scent of greenery so absent from the space of city living is present in the air.

Everything is soft here.

Slowing down helps me open up my hands to receive.  My heart doesn't need to stay shut and protect itself.  There is this beckoning it yearns to heed.  The call for deep and meaningful rest.  The call for relishing the moments filled with gratitude.

And for worry to be a thousand miles away.


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