Savouring a new book, and a well loved story

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.

Savouring the moment of opening a new book,
and re-reading a well loved story.

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.


8 thoughts on “Savouring a new book, and a well loved story

  1. Dear Letitia
    I am sorry for your loss. Be blessed with people with whom you can share the beautiful memories, speak about and sort the challenging ones as well as people who give you room to grieve and cherish what was.
    It was the title that caught my attention and had childhood images of myself instantly. What a treasure those books are!
    Visiting from FMF#18

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  2. Oh, Letitia, I am so sorry for your loss. May the Holy Spirit draw near to comfort you as you grieve. I love your words about books and savoring the written page. I read mostly on my phone nowadays for convenience, but I love how you describe the joy of printed pages. The Chronicles of Narnia are my all-time favorites. So much wisdom and hope between the covers just awaiting another reading to spring to life.

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  3. May God bless and comfort you in this loss. I have been where you are. I get it. I re-read Christy and The Far Pavilions as my comfort reading. I will pray for you; I don’t say that lightly. From FMF#19

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  4. So sorry about your Mum, Tish.
    You are so right about the comfort of well loved books and Narnia are my favourites too (along with The Little White Horse and the Starbridge series).
    And this is so beautifully written – I was right back in those specific editions.
    God bless, Liz

    Liked by 1 person

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