Day off on Bittersweet. No appointments. None. The sky is gray but the woods around Bittersweet are wearing the bright yellow of late October. Oats and coffee this morning. Back to my writing desk. The house is quiet. Hope is at work. Lois is on an errand for a few hours. Hazard is curled up in Hope’s room. A car passes occasionally. The silence returns. I putter among my books plotting what to read next, weighing my work today. I have some writing to do but those books are always calling to me.
This is the view from my the corner of the little farmhouse on Bittersweet where I write. The house is quiet, warm, secure, peaceful today. I’m enjoying the luxury of an autumn day without appointments or meetings. I’m working at home on my day off, doing some writing, but always tempted to stop and read. I’m only a few feet away from a collection of hundreds of books by my favorite authors on the landing library.
It is on days like this that I am most grateful and thoughtful about how God has given us the desire of our hearts to be a village parson and live in a place surrounded by creation, birds and trees, sky and stars and moon, wild animals and woods, grass and growing things. Wide fields and woods around us to explore.
I want to stop and read Great Possessionsby David Kline, the autumn parts again.
I think about stopping to read Wendell Berry, stories of the “Membership” call to me.
I’m tempted to indulge in a Eugene Peterson’s Kingfishers or The Contemplative Pastor.
There are a whole collection of books by John McPhee who can make anything interesting. (I want to preach like he writes)
Of course, I am eager to read Andrew Peterson’s latest which arrived out on Bittersweet by mail this week: Adorning the Dark. I heard on a podcast interview yesterday that he was inspired by Wendell Berry to buy a country place, so I doubt I will make it through the weekend without reading that.
I have two books by Bethel peeps. One written by a sister now with the Lord who has two children still at Bethel another by one of our men–Chili and Cheese for the Soul.
Just yesterday I picked up a beautifully-bound copy of Fredrick Buechner’s Yale Lectures on Preaching, Telling Secrets, which are calling to me.
There is a new Jerrod Wilson book on the Gospel-Centered Church which I have moved high on my reading stack.
I want to finish Rural Parish by Anna Gebhard, a narrative of her ministry in a small rural charge in Minnesota.
I’m enjoying Madeleine L’Engle’s Two-Part Invention-the Story of a Marriage.
There is Lila by Marilynne Robinson unfinished buy beckoning.
I want to savor Roy Peter Clark’s Writing Tools and William Zinsser’s Writing Places.
I’ve started A Year in the Maine Woods… all of them tug on me from their shelves, while another force pulls me back to the glowing screen and the artful fonts on my Ulysses writing software…
I have a little commonplace book from Baron Fig where I try to record my reading.
It’s a little chilly and I’m tempted to bump up the heat but I keep a buffalo plaid, fleece-lined shirt jacket near at hand for times like this. Maybe I’ll just put on my shirt-jacket go downstairs and brew some coffee and decide how to spend the rest of this quiet window of time when I return to my peaceful little corner of the house.
[I returned to my quiet corner of the house to write and ended up reading Andrew Peterson’s Adorning the Dark. The phone rang. One of our beloved parishioners is in the hospital. I’m a writer. I’m a reader, but most of all, I’m a Village Parson].
October 25, 2019