I used to read a lot of fiction- as a child, into my teens and then early in my marriage. I remember being absorbed in stories and staying up until the wee hours of the morning, not satisfied until the book was finished and I knew the end of the story. Something in me changed around that time, in the questioning of how to raise kids, how to cook, create a home and figure out who I was and suddenly I was a reader of non-fiction. I love non-fiction, but in these years I had forgotten that I also love fiction.
I want to read a story that makes me think a little, question a little and wonder what I would see myself doing in the same situation. Sometimes you are pretty confident in your opinion on an issue until you immerse yourself in a story of someone facing that issue- suddenly things are not as clear. You can see the different sides, the struggle and the choices. What would I do?
In a world of too much screen time, I’m shifting things a bit and picking up a book (the paper kind!) at the end of a long day. I’m unwinding and remembering one of my first loves- story, and the power and magic it holds. I’m still reading non-fiction, but I’m trying to close the day with a story. I am finding it’s a powerful way to pause and take a deep breath, to stop the doing and rushing and the learning. Every minute does not need to be so crammed. Maybe you can use this in your day too?
If you are still reading this, and maybe curious about what I’m reading, I just finished How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim. It was amazing and had an ending that I did not expect at all, yet was perfect. It is a true gift when storyteller can offer a message of truth and hope through a fictional character. Here is a small sample of what I mean:
“The two women crawled beneath the quilts. The older woman believed she was at the beginning of the end of her life; the younger believed she was at the end of the beginning of hers. But both believed wrong. They were each at the cusp of a new life, a new beginning, and though it didn’t resemble what they’d had, or even wanted, it would be what each of them needed- a fulfillment of a promise; a future and a hope.”
As the main character, Ruth, goes through an impossible situation I found myself swaying back and forth as to which outcome I most desired. I won’t spoil the ending for you here, but the end of the story is so unexpected (but good)- I think you will love it. I’m going to let the story rest in my mind for a few days. I’m going to think about the lessons learned through Ruth and see what’s true about it in my life.
As I’ve picked up actual-paper-fiction books again, I’m reminded that lessons and growth don’t only come through non-fiction. Sometimes a story with heart is the more powerful teacher.