You open the door and the sounds of classical music greet you. Mingled with that are the warm muted tones of a myriad of voices – booklovers and café visitors – reverberating gently from the book-covered walls. A sigh escapes your lips as the aura wafts over you. You slip inside the room like a foot into an old slipper. Books stand sentry at the door – some familiar and comfortable, others new and intriguing. You pick one up and flip through the pages. The feel of the book in your hand awakens a piece of you that you hadn’t noticed had fallen asleep.
You walk past the stairway winding around Christopher Robin’s tree. You touch the rich wood of a bookshelf – it grounds you like a touchstone. You pick up a few books and find an empty chair – a big soft one in a quiet alcove. You curl up in the worn chair and let the tension in your muscles slowly drift away. You open the book on your lap and lose yourself in the pages.
You have found it. Sanctuary.
Yes, I got to enjoy a beautiful, uninterrupted, unencumbered hour at my favourite bookstore last night. (No, it wasn’t the same bookstore that contributed to my faith crisis a few months ago. This one is SO much better.) Those hours are few and far between, so when they come, I savour them like expensive chocolate. And when I left the store at closing time, I carried a book home with me and continued to relish it, curled up in my bed.
And what did I take home? Well, last night I needed an old friend in comfortable clothing, so I took home Anne Lamott. She’s writing about faith again, and that’s JUST what I needed. She’s like an old friend, and there are few people I’d rather curl up in bed with than Anne. She didn’t disappoint either. I didn’t get too far into it before my eyes refused to stay open, but I enjoyed the first couple of chapters. I fell asleep, peaceful and inspired. She lifted me up above the din.