Friday, June 01, 2007


I am positively adoring the book I found yesterday, Thoughts of Home.

The book is filled with reminisces about the homes these various essay writers knew when they were young, as well as the ones they know now. Here are just two of hundreds of wonderful paragraphs which stick to me, told in a story of what happened to one family when they lost the farm they'd worked 19 years:

"Mother became depressed and the house became chaotic. We children scattered to the yard and beyond like baby quail and only returned at night to our baths in a tin tub. Then, one day, a neighbor brought a huge bouquet of Talisman roses and gave them to Mother. They sat in their vase and glowed in cream and coral splendor amid the debris and clutter of the little house that Mother was too sad to make into a home.

"It was later, when I was older, that she told me what the roses did for her. She said she looked at the glorious flowers that made the bungalow seem so pitiful and she got up and scrubbed the place until it shone. She vowed always to have a house that could stand up to roses, no matter how small or how poor it was. My mother lived on many different farms after that, and she kept her vow."

Many lessons in that, but especially about how the perfect, inspired gift can change a heart and do more than we realize.

And now I need to return to another magical morning. I love to awaken early, 5:00, when the afternoon promises to simmer and steam. In the coolness of early day, after I drink my pretend coffee out on the porch, I dress and go outside to water sections of my flowers, usually with a bucket, then I feed the birds. Then sometimes I drive down nearly-empty streets to the supermarket whose aisles are ghost-town-like, quiet and barely-peopled, and perhaps end my outing with a trip to the library.

I don't know... Cool early mornings just feel magical somehow, as though I've learned to live avoiding the heat and as though I've traveled backward to a simpler, more peaceful day and year. And I remain awestruck that all I must do to time-travel magically like that is give-in to the nighttime early and then pull myself out of bed at 5:00 a.m.. Amazing.

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