The steady sound of ice and plastic reacting together, disturbs me from a muffled dream of far off lands that somehow seem familiar. The warmth of the cocoon that is my bed, piled high with wool and sherpa blankets, cushions my bones as I roll over to gaze at the tall west window.
Yes, morning light is casting itself across a white, reflective landscape as long fingers of luminescence reach my groggy brain and sleepy eyes.
It's morning. The moon still sits low over the tall, old east hill tree-tops and as thoughts of every part of my current life begin to take their seats once more in the theatre of my conscious mind, I throw back the heavy covers and move slowly to the edge of the old spool bed.
Turning the thermostat dials to the 'comfort zones', I continue on with my morning rituals. Then back to the computer, to answer comments, to read emails, to prioritize my Saturday tasks and things I want to do.
As I read through the night's comments that have been left on my blog by distant friends while I slept, I am reminded of the old story of The Elves and The Shoemaker.
The Elves making their nightly appearances to help the shoemaker in his tasks.
There is a comment from Carole and as I read through the latest posts at the Inspiration Group, I notice a new book meme by Linda Scanlan. My brain is jogged into associative zone and reminds me of the book meme Carole recently tagged on me.
I make no bones about the fact that one of the greatest loves of my life has always been, and always will be, books. I love how they look, how they feel, the mysteries that each one holds, and how they can take me to another world, another city of new ideas and revelations, another part of that human mystery that is there for all mankind to access.
Of course, writing about books is something I enjoy almost as much as reading them, holding them, admiring them. I feel a tingle as I recall the first time I discovered the integral nature of each new book and the secret magic it held within it's depths.
This evasive magic was revealed to me through a strange and synergistic dance between the neurons of two beings; the writer and myself, the reader.
Book memes are a very special part of Active Rain. They allow us a glimpse into the unique nature of each of those we call our friends, our acquaintances and perhaps, we get a tiny hint of who a stranger is when we first discover them via a book meme they have written.
There are book memes of a spiritual nature. There are book memes of a business nature. There are book memes of a fictional nature. Then of course, there are the majority of book memes, those that are an eclectic mix of all themes and mostly tell us a great deal of who the writer is, afterall , these are the books that have imprinted themselves most strongly in this blogger's cerebral files to lay in wait til one day, someone asks them to write a book meme.
Do you have a child's heart? Yes, of course you do. We all do and there is no other time than during the Christmas season when we become once more aware of our child's heart. It still beats there, deep within the grunge of the years and life's tribulations. It is as new and as fresh as the day it was born, the day it was crafted by the Great Mystery itself.
You see, a heart never grows old. It's impossible for a heart to grow old, for it's integral nature is composed of the finest of silken and delicate strings that flutter so easily in all of the soft nuances that are to be found in the life of the creature it inhabits.
Your heart sees, your heart knows, and your heart always remembers, always, and it never grows old, for it is a part of that timelessness that is the universe itself.
This book meme, therefore, is one written by my heart. I'll let my heart recall the books that were written for it, the books that held a tiny shard of universal magic and wisdom wrapped in shimmering gold light that threatened to disappear if I held it too tightly while unwrapping it.
Some gifts have to be held very gently and opened so softly and with such dexterity and tenderness that only that which is intangible can open them. Some gifts can only be opened with the heart and once opened, only understood by the heart.
These are the books that held gifts that were opened by my heart, and once opened, placed before me like a never-ending feast on a long table that stretched forth into a place where the word 'end' had never been coined , and therefore was not known.
These are the books that hold the magic of the universe and are there for your heart to open and feast upon forever more.
Give a gift of timelessness this Christmas season. Give one of these books to someone whose life you wish to touch in a very special way and in so doing, you will have crafted a timeless dance of beauty and magic between three ageless hearts, the writer's, the gift recipient's and your own.
The most captivating treasure trove of bottomless wisdom and little gifts, that are only found during subsequent, repetitive readings, The Little Prince remains at the top of my 'Books from the Realm of Magic' category. Antoine de Saint Exupery wrote this book in the early 1940s and it may come as a surprise to you, that this most magical book was written while Antoine was staying in The Bevin House in Asharoken, New York, on Long Island.
If you buy one book this year, for a child, for a loved one, for a Grandmother, for a brother, for someone you barely know, let it be this one.
When you go to the bookstore, or order online through one of the many online book purveyors, add an extra copy to the list and wrap it up for a very special person, one who is with you through thick and thin and could benefit greatly from this story.
When you are addressing the gift tag, lovingly print your name next to the 'To' and place it under your tree.
All hearts yearn for the colourful jewels that lay buried between the pages of this tiny and timeless little book and yours is no exception.
To give you a tiny idea of what lays hidden, often unseen by the naked eye, in the pages of this book, I quote Antoine himself from his dedication on the first few pages ~'All grown-ups were once children...although few of them remember it.'
And remember, this is a book that your heart will read and in so doing, you will be reminded once more that your heart is ageless and that you yourself exist in a timeless world and are therefore not part of the limited time that appears to exist here in this realm.
There is a great tug-of-war going on within my heart itself. It can't make up it's mind which book it loves the most, The Little Prince, or this next book I will discuss. I've taken this story from a blog I wrote previously since I have no other way of telling this story, other than how I've already told it.
When I was very young, perhaps 4 or 5, I got into trouble my first
week in school. My vice was an overactive imagination and a love for story books.
When Mrs. Greene told us it was time for our 'naps', I would gather up my pink, wool, Hudson's Bay Blanket that my Mother had embroidered my name on, and settle down on the waxed, linoleum floor as close as I could to the bookshelf.
Then I would lay co-operatively down and half-close my eyes as I feigned sleep, while keeping one eye slightly open as I watched for Mrs. Greene to turn her back on us.
As soon as she made her way back to her desk and appeared to be engrossed in her piles of paperwork, I would begin my journey.
One inch at a time, I would slide my blanket silently over to the bookshelf, keeping an eye on Mrs. Greene the whole time, until I could reach out and remove my favourite book off the shelf.
That book was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
I would lay on my kindergarten, pink blanket and read my favourite parts of the book silently to myself. This worked for a number of days, or at least I thought it was working.
Then one day Mrs. Greene stood towering above me and with an angry voice told me to put the book away and go back to my spot and have my nap. I was devastated; not so much at her admonishment, but that my favourite world of Mr. Tumnus and his cosy little cave and Lucy and her adventures in Narnia had been closed off to me.
The book stayed in the deep recesses of my heart throughout the past 44 years and never once have I stopped believing that old wardrobes filled with dusty fur coats in rambling old country homes held secret , snowy worlds of lamp-posts and creatures whose hearts were larger than the universe itself.
Every misty lamp-post casting it's glow through a shroud of snowflakes on a misty evening, brings me back to Narnia and the world I fell in love with so long ago.
Buy this book for all of the children on your list. Read it to them bit by bit each night and be transported to a world of friendly beavers and Aslan, the lion, who houses the heart of the universe, itself.
This next book is so rich in delicious
ideas that were it to be a dessert, it
would be the most decadent and rich, chocolate torte ever made.
It would be set forth before us on a delicate Wedgwood china plate, the pattern called Tintern, white with a painting of beautiful wildflowers and natures flying jewels, butterflies, gracing it's centre.
As you pick up the tiny silver dessert fork you've been given, and begin to partake of the tiniest piece, you will know that you are onto something so very special and wonderful, that you will want it to last forever. And so it will.
This book holds so many secrets and treasures that encompass the living of a most beautiful and worthy life, you will want to savour it throughout the remainder of your time here on earth.
I recommend you buy it for each client as they move into their new home and most definitely for every one of the women in your lives who care about the little things, the special moments, the details, the tangibles that hold gifts so dear to your heart that they cast an intangible magic moment into your life each time you behold them.
Alexandra Stoddard wrote one of the most elegant and timeless books of classical wisdom and grace when she wrote Living A Beautiful Life and everyone who appreciates the nuances and small details that make up the tapestry of beauty in our larger lives, will appreciate this book immensely.
Make sure to buy a copy for yourself and save it for those moments when you need to be reminded of how beautiful life really is.
In 1993 a gifted writer, James Redfield, put words to paper and revealed to us
something the universe had shown him. The book he wrote is called The Celestine Prophecy and once you've read it, you will never look upon the world, the people in it, nor yourself the same again.
If you are a person of conscience, you will begin to examine every action you have deliberately taken that has affected another person either negatively or positively and you will begin to see that you are more powerful than you ever dared to imagine.
If you are familiar with the butterfly effect, you will integrate the two theories and see that every single interaction you have with all of life around you, has either a negative, positive or neutral outcome on the energy and therefore the integral being of that with which you are interacting.
Beings of conscious, positive choice, will stop, before 'doing', and take time to consider whether or not they are affecting the greater universe negatively or positively by the action they are about to take.
You have a choice, you always have a choice, make it the right one. You are creating the universe with your every action, you are powerful and magical and what you to do today will have wide reaching consequences which you may never know of, but you will be greatly responsible for, never-the-less.
This is a book for all of the teenagers on your list and for anyone you know who has not yet read it.
By giving this book, you will help to bring the planet to a place of greater peace and kinder interactions which have wide-reaching repercussions. A book of ancient secrets only because they were long forgotten by mankind and hushed in those who still remembered them.
You have this magic within yourself and remembering what it is and how to use it, is your responsibility and right as a being who has been given the gift of awareness here and now.
There are two writers who are able to take the everyday and weave irridescent threads of mystery and things which only the heart understands into their books and stories. To say I admire these two would be a sad and incorrect understatement. They have that rare and magical gift which so few writers have and who fewer still make use of.
They are weavers of magic through the written word, transcribers of the invisible pieces of chaos that travel the holograms of the universe's 'non-time' until they engage in the receptive mind of 'one who can receive'.
These rare individuals who have the 'receivers' of the universe's wisdom and rarer still, are able to transcribe it into patterns which we, the readers, understand, are often-times happen-chance finds, unless we are lucky enough to have someone recommend we read their stories and books.
Timothy Findley has written numerous books on so many subjects and each story he writes has more written between the lines, than within the words themselves.
He is a synergistic word-crafter whose weaving of words produces a gift that carries the reader into a hidden world beyond the words that are visible upon the pages of his books. For starters, I recommend a book of his short stories called 'Stones'.
For those who enjoy a writer who is capable of interweaving magic into the human
condition and setting it down upon the page in a way that makes us stop to consider each new idea as it is put forth, Ursula K. LeGuin is an author who you must read.
Many of her stories have a science fictiony twist to them and yet, you are able to see how the unusual nature of what she is portraying, actually takes place in life around you in an allegorical way.
When reading her stories your heart stretches out and puts it's feet up on an ancient, battered stool as it settles into an overstuffed, old chair that has been waiting , fireside, just for you to arrive. Once again, I recommend one of her collections of short stories as a starting point~ Orsinian Tales.
If you have a teenager or know of someone who enjoys books with a twist of unexpected imaginative turns, pick up this timeless collection of written jewels and wrap it up for a gift they're not likely to soon forget.
If I had the rest of the day to write about books that my heart has understood and hung onto over time, I may be able to come up with a handful more, however the day is waning on and I have lots of tasks to get to yet. Ok....who will I meme with my magic meme wand for the next book memes....let's see...