My mother died in February after 94 years of a full life. In grief many things we enjoyed together are temporarily lost to me, the scent of Spring flowers, the ruby effervescence of a campari, the piquancy of a cappuccino in a pub garden.
Please note, Five Minute Friday friends, that today’s prompt SAVOR is spelled ‘savour’ in the UK.
In grief, I have found it difficult to write but have read copiously – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, The Secret Life of Language by Simon Pulleyn but the books I have found most comforting are old friends, read many times. My son has our family copies of The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis so I recently purchased a boxed set of the original edition with full colour illustrations. As I prized The Silver Chair from the middle of the other volumes, a puff of dust wafted up and fragments of cardboard tickled my nostrils. I opened the pages, and joy of joy, it was printed on lightly glossed paper. Memories of ink pens in school geography lessons, and slight intoxication from PVA glue were recalled, as the lingering smell of chemicals lifted off the pages. Nothing can replace the tactile pleasure of a book, the weight of it in your hand, the freedom of turning back quickly, the faint darkening of the page edge as fingers slide and tighten unconsciously with the tension of the story. The editions I have are illustrated in vibrant purples and greens, triggering the imagination before the words even leave the page to penetrate the mind, and sink deep into heart and soul.
There is spiritual depth in these childhood stories. The sacrifice of a saviour broke the spell of death as effectively as Prince Rilian’s destruction of the enchanted chair. Puddleglum’s action in believing in a lion he cannot see and stamping out the spell brings to an end the witch’s kingdom. It helped me break through the confusion of loss.
I know I will recapture my joy in the scent of Spring , and the pleasures of a cup of coffee with a friend but at the moment the reassurance of a well known book is what I savour.