I am truly enjoying lingering over Hannah Coulter (Wendell Berry). Hannah’s story has resonated with me and that was so unexpected. I have shared bits and pieces in the evening with my husband. There are points in the story where, as husband and wife, we can share a smile and a chuckle. I am almost at the end of Hannah’s story. I am torn between quickly finishing it or making it last a bit longer.
“The room of love is another world. You go there wearing no watch, watching no clock. It is the world without end, so small that two people can hold it in their arms, and yet it is bigger than worlds on worlds, for it contains the longing of all things to be together, and to be at rest together. You come together to the day’s end, weary and sore, troubled and afraid. You take it all into your arms, it goes away, and there you are where giving and taking are the same, and you live a little while entirely in a gift. The words have all been said, all permissions given, and you are free in the place that is the two of you together. What could be more heavenly than to have desire and satisfaction in the same room?
If you want to know why even in telling of trouble and sorrows I am giving thanks, this is why.” p. 110 Hannah Coulter
“Way in the night I heard him stir and cry out, not loudly. I got up to see about him.
I said, “Do you need anything?”
“No, ” he said.
“Are you all right?”
But I sat down in a chair by the bed. The house got altogether still again, and I thought he was asleep. Just ever so quietly I reached over and laid my hand on his shoulder.
He said, “I love you too, Hannah.” p. 163 Hannah Coulter
And the above is what finally twisted my heart. I can clearly picture it in my mind and the understood language between the two got me.
Today I began reading The Night Gardener (Jonathan Auxier) as one of our read alouds. One chapter into the story, the children were ready to settle in for a marathon read. The following struck me as I read:
“The woman set down her instrument and peered at him, eyebrows raised, “Not everything old and ugly is wicked.” p7
We are so attracted to the beautiful and shiny and young. How easily sin can dress itself to appeal to our flesh. So often what is unlovely is the very thing we should seek and desire.