I love when I come across a sentence or a paragraph in a book with words that seem to sing to me. Sentences that I read over again just so I can savor their cadence, their melody. When I was growing up my mother filled our home with books. We had a huge wall of shelves with everything from Faulkner to Fitzgerald to Conroy to Willa Cather on them. Before I could read grown-up books I would stand in front of those shelves and pull books out one at a time, I would feel their weight in my small hands and smell their yellowed pages. If we are fortunate, our mother’s love gives us many gifts while growing up, such as a sense of security, support, and comfort. My mother gave me those things and she also gave me words. Below is a quote from Leif Enger’s novel, Peace Like a River. The main character has briefly crossed over to that place between life and death.
At the moment I had no notion of identity. Nor of burden. I laughed in place of language. The meadow hummed as though thick with the nests of waking creatures, and the grasses were canyon colored, lifting their heads as I passed. Moving up from the river the humming began to swell-it was magnetic, a sound uncurling into song and light and even a scent, which was like earth, and I must’ve then entered the region of nests, for up scattered finches and cheeky longspurs and every sort of bunting and bobolink and piebald tanager. All these rose with sweet chaotic calls, whirling and resettling to the grass.
Leif Enger wrote those words but my mother gave them to me. Thanks mom.