Down Time

My perfect daily schedule would consist of a book a day, a walk a day, a nap a day. This holiday season I came really close to this imagined perfect schedule.

A confluence of the forgiving academic calendar and at home holiday celebrations allowed for down time – a full two weeks – between semesters. Our holiday season was a quiet one, early celebrations to allow family members to travel – but luckily not us. We are still recouping from our Thanksgiving odyssey.

While the schedule did allow for healing naps and lovely December walks; it was the comforting, provoking, thoughtful reading that filled the parched cistern of my mind and soul.

My friend reminds me that there are really only two prayers you ever need. Riffing Anne Lamont, Help! Help! Help! And Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I surely used the first one often for my friends facing sickness and my children for safe travels in adulthood. In the days of this past semester I used that first prayer often trying to discern the “why” of my daily work.

Anne Lamont has a new book this season titled Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace. She always reminds me that those small moments of grace are our reason for living. A very good friend sent me the new book in the Fr. Tim (Mitford) saga titled Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon. I love these thoughtful books and it was of great comfort to me to be reminded that my friend was always the Someone Good when I lived in her neck of the woods. And I have the great gift of finding and living with that Someone Good every day, my husband. Great felicitations ensued this season when one beloved child found his Someone Good and she said YES!

Yes, reading spoke to me.

 It was many years ago, but the question I still struggle with is why. For the living, for those left behind, there is no answer that is good enough. P. 299

“…sometimes you just have to live with the mystery.” P. 303 The Why of Things : a novel by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop


Because survival is insufficient. P.58 Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


The world was askew when he came to himself. P. 307

His companions looked to be members of the dark and strangers every one of them. P. 318 Sweetland by Michael Crummey


You had to hope the love you felt would get recorded in the book of time. We Are Not Ourselves by Mathew Thomas

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For reading. And for more books waiting to be read…

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Liar Temptress Soldier Spy by Karen Abbott






About Kimberly Hoffman

Twitter: KMH_nowinVA
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