When I’m desperate for something to read I wander over to the neighbor’s little library. The books I find in there aren’t necessarily ones I would pick up in a regular library where choices are many. But when you’re needing a book and the selection is few, you end up pushed into worlds you might not pick to read.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the book you find in your hand mirrors something going on in your life? I’m not sure if you are drawn to the book because of events, or if the events make you see things differently so that you pick up something you might not normally.
Both of those things – the neighborhood library, and recent events, have landed a tiny book in my lap.
I posted recently about needing a sister day, and this past week I was gifted with sister days. They were emotional days that make your soul ache and your heart weep even when you struggle to be strong and say the things you need to say.
Words like ‘you’ve fought this battle for years’ and ‘we understand you’re tired’ and ‘we respect your choice to go’ and ‘don’t stay because of us’.
When the reality is inside you’re grasping at cloth while your brain screams ‘don’t you dare leave us!!!’
And then here comes this little book.
I’d never heard of the author, let alone the book. But it’s a small book to hold in your hand, with rough-cut edges and a beautiful cover. So I brought it home from the neighborhood collection, thinking it would be a distraction, a non-fiction book on how snails operate. Interesting, maybe boring, but words.
The author has a mysterious debilitating disease. And into her life comes a snail, with a pot of wild violets. And one night, she can hear the snail munching.
What comes from that moment is a lesson in slowing down, breathing, changing perspectives, adjusting how we look at life.
At the things we have to let go.
The book reads like a meditation, with the interesting life of a snail thrown in. Like the fact that they have teeth and you can hear them chewing when the world around you is quiet and still enough.
There’s more to this book than just that, but for now, I want this snail to remind me to be quiet and still enough that I can hear time slowing for one sister. I want to feel how an ending for us is a beginning for her, a birth of a different sort, into the world she has faith in.
And during this time left, no matter how long it is, I hope time slows for my sister so that she can feel our heartbeats, feel our love, find her peace, and find the quiet so she can hear what she needs to now.