My daughter, Rebekah,and I always have a good laugh at chocolate commercials. Often you will see a woman slowly and delicately enjoying a small piece of chocolate. One tiny bite at a time the chocolate is savored. We laugh because this concept of tiny bites of chocolate is so foreign to us. We are both the Cookie Monsters of Chocolate. As soon as the chocolate is in sight all self-control is gone.
Then there is my daughter, Mary. She understands this art of self-control. She plans when she will eat her chocolate and strategically thinks through how to make it last as long as possible. She is content with a portion at a time and enjoying the anticipation of the next encounter with her delicious chocolate. The chocolate her sister and I dream of sneaking away and eating as quickly as possible.
I am the same way with books. Oh, how I love a good story that draws you in. A tale that carries you away into another place that is so beautiful. And the book must be finished. As soon as possible!! I have to know how it will end, what will happen to my dearest character, and what might come next.
However, I am trying to reform my ways. We are deep in the trenches with Ambleside Online. As I am requiring my children to learn to savor their studies in small bites, I am challenging myself to do the same. Oh, it is so hard for this book devourer!
I am currently reading Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. I read Jayber Crow earlier this year and wanted to give Berry another try. I am enjoying this walk through Port William with Hannah. Beautiful. Bittersweet. As much as I want to hurry through it and read every detail, I think taking Hannah’s story in slowly is a better choice. The story is soaking in. Each time I go back to read a bit more, I see aspects I missed before. Slowly. Small bites. Making the chocolate last….
“This is the story of my life, that while I lived it weighed upon me and pressed against me and filled all my senses to overflowing and now is like a dream dreamed. So close to the end now, what do I look forward to? ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.’ Some morning, I pray, I’ll have the good happiness of ‘the man who woke up dead, ‘ who Burley Coulter used to tell about.
This is my story, my giving of thanks.” p 5
“When you are old you can look back, and see yourself when you were young. It is almost like looking down from Heaven. And you see yourself as a young woman, just a big girl really, half awake to the world. You see yourself happy, holding in your arms a good, decent, gentle, beloved young man with the blood keen in his veins, who before long is going to disappear, just disappear, into a storm of hate and flying metal and fire. And you don’t know it.” p31