Tamara Willems

a very grand love affair…

Once again I find myself, absolutely besotted
with a book
of course..  well,  there is this thing where I
am in love with books
but sometimes there is a certain book, whose title I have read
or heard
whose cover I have
seen
yet as my to-be-read pile is always close to toppling
I don’t seem to get to
said book
and still,  this book …  it calls to me
it pokes me, it prods
as was the case with Rumi and The Red Handbag by Shawna Lemay
a book that kept speaking to me, in lovely little sign posts
until at last…  it found me
and still, I could clutch it to my chest in gratitude for its simple perfection
then came this,
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
same kind of thing
continuously drifting into
my space
a book I even had in my hand a few times, but then
never purchased
somehow we kept crossing paths
finally, I agreed to
take it home
still it sat on the shelf, while I read the several others who stood in line
before
from time to time, I’d look up and my eyes would sweep across the blue spine
the words The Elegance of the Hedgehog would make swirls on my tongue
and it hounded me until I was free
to begin
and it wasn’t’ love at first sight (or rather… read)
although the language itself was beautiful
I had begun in fits and starts, reading at work on breaks and at lunch
not really time enough to get stuck in
so I wasn’t’ sure if we were
compatible
I thought for a time, maybe it was beyond me ..
maybe I was not smart enough to
take it in
but we were here, and really some things just
take a little time
and so,  I began again…

This morning,  I finished
then spent a little time, re-reading
and then for a time,  I just sat
in gratitude,
and held the book
it is true, I am in love with books
but just as true I believe is that I am in love with
writers
in the words that they spin, that draw us in
that lead one in the most graceful steps and swirls
where your feet hardly touch the floor
that swoop in almost unknowingly like the ghost of Christmas past
and whisk you off to quietly watch as your story unfolds
right before your eyes
words so beautiful they break your heart
but somehow in the most
wonderful way
that sweep you off your feet,
or place you, just firmly
in
your
chair

this afternoon, I am at the library
first to return a few books and then to pick up the one
who awaits
I set my returns on the counter, and go off to collect
when I come back,  the librarian is leafing through the book I have just returned
One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place by Susan Haltom
as she notices me,  she looks rather sheepish
like she has just been caught
hand in the cookie jar
“I couldn’t resist” she says, and we both smile
“It’s a wonderful book  I tell her,  it really is,
I had finished it, but I wasn’t quite ready to…
let it go“
a few more words, then I step out the door, back into sunshine
I am smiling.. in full,  how wonderful it can be to recognize
a kindred

I walk off, with a spring in my step,
and I think to myself…

wouldn’t it wonderful to string together
a few words
that would make someone’s heart
smile  ♥

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