Waking up on this cloudy summer morning, I'm enveloped in sensory memory. The grey sky and fresh morning air spiced with cedar, ocean and the faint haze of smoke transports me to camping by the lake, cousins in the next campsite over, bread toasted over an early campfire and permission to spend a day curled with a book.
This last part is the one I pause on. A day curled with a book snuggled into a sleeping bag while still present to the world. In the camper I'd climb up onto the big bed where, unlike at home, the activity of the day was still around me. Mom making coffee, people walking by on the gravel road or forest paths on their way to the bathrooms, the lake or simply walking. I could hear the conversational cadences of other nearby families and wonder, as I heard cars rumble by, where they might be going. I realize now that at home we were isolated from the world whereas here I felt in the midst of it. But this began as a memory about spending a day curled up with a book.
I was a voracious consumer of Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, and comics. We read Batman, Archie, Richie Rich. I have a particular memory of a comic where the animal characters lived out stories inspired by the Canterbury Tales, the nod to which I noticed only in retrospect while studying English literature in high school. Oh, and Mad Magazine. Classic summer reading.
As I dive into this, the memory shifts from child to teen, books morphing. Titles are less immediately available to memory now as I move away from reading series over and over to more random and more complex and mature fare. King Rat, Catch 20 20. And still Mad Magazine. Mad, in fact, may have been my introduction to seeing the world through a lens that was more critical, less inclined to the easy and prevalent story.
I still read, a lot, and pretty much every day. But rarely do I have, or perhaps it's do I take, a day to spend with a book. Despite living in this place that feels like cottage country surrounded by the essence of lazy summer day. On my recent mini holiday my niece and I both opted for an afternoon of staying home. She too lives in a place surrounded by coastal trees and in sight of the ocean so all of the sensory cues were there. I sat in the rocking chair by the window while she streamed escapist tv. Like toddlers engaged in parallel play, the presence of the other was all that was necessary.
This brings me back to now and here. Sitting at the kitchen table with the park and ocean in sight, in the air, sun burning through the cloud cover. Now having to decide whether to stay in the world of words or leave the book for later.
Centred on evocative and deeply healing guided meditations, Kimiko holds Virtual Healing Circles Monday mornings at 9 a.m. and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. pacific. Please join us. Learn more at the Good Vibrations: the Energy of Resilience facebook page, check out the Healing link on this site or drop her a note by e-mail.
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