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Updated: 12 hours ago
It’s been a very busy month already (halfway through September) and I have been pondering on what I want to write for this month’s article. I have reflected on the things I have done over the past weeks in terms of work and rest. There has been a lot of paperwork which is normal for the role I have and there have been many wonderful occasions for conversation and spending time with people which I take great joy in. Then there have been my down times, either crocheting, doing jigsaws or reading. It is the latter that I have decided to focus on for this month’s Ramblings from the Rectory.
Reading can be, for many, a way of escaping the busyness of everyday lives and gives opportunities to experience different lands, times and characters that are unknown to us. I can’t ever remember learning to read – I read from a very young age and I have no concept of how I learned to make the letters into words. I do have an early memory of some very dour looking books that told the ‘adventures’ of Janet and John! At the age of eleven, I read Jane Eyre for the very first time and now have in my possession various copies of it, some very well thumbed. And, because I read so much on holiday, I also have a copy on my Kindle. I like to read both paper copies and kindle versions of books; paper copies because there is nothing better than holding a book, turning the pages avidly and fighting the temptation to turn to further pages to find out what happens and I love my kindle because I can read when it is dark, it holds several hundred books to choose from when on holiday and takes up minimal space in my handbag.
I don’t just read novels. I love poetry, biographies, histories and travel accounts. I like a range of genres too from the serious and tear-jerking to the hilarious and the mysterious. I have a pile of books loaned to me from people in the villages who have read something amazing and I am slowly working my way through those.
But the book I spend every day looking at is my Bible. I have a shelf full of Bibles. Some are study bibles where there are additional commentaries to help explain a passage and I have different translations. In this one book I can read poetry, biographies, histories and travel accounts. Reading the Bible is, for me, a way of being guided to live my life as God wants me to live it. Not everything in the Bible is comfortable reading and it is certainly a challenging book, but the more I read, the more I learn about who I am in this world and I can find comfort, joy and hope and inspiration to try new things or to keep going when things feel tough.
Often, when I am sitting and reading at home, Nic is doing the same. He reads novels on holiday but at home will have several books about vegetables or flowers open that he uses for research and planning. He’s building a knowledge base about crop rotation, seasonal and perennial flowers and how to cultivate seeds ready for the new growing season.
For our young people, sharing books with excitement can encourage them to choose a book and start reading for themselves and I love reading picture books to them. I am also grateful for those who spend time creating audio books for those who struggle with the written word or where their eyesight has now diminished enough to make reading difficult. The words of the classics, the Bible, the local newspaper etc can all be brought to life through hearing the words shared which is life enriching.
Do chat with me about your reading choices when we have a chance to get together. I’d love to hear about them – I may not have the time to read your suggestions, but I’d still like that chat!
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