I received a note from a reader, Jan, yesterday. She wanted to let me know that she was reading my book, Rose House, while sitting beneath a tree. She said it was an aspen grove, which really made me smile.
I have seen her photo, so I could easily picture Jan seated beneath an aspen grove, maybe in her backyard, Rose House in hand, lost in the world of vineyards and roses. From an author’s point of view, it’s a lovely thought.
I went on to let Jan know I’d read a book just a little while ago beneath the crabapple tree in my back yard. I happened to be reading a novel called The Feast of Saint Bertie by Kathleen Popa that was all about a woman trying to quiet her life and focus on the important things.
I’ve been doing some of that myself, lately, and the note from Jan just reinforced my goal to quiet my own life. Before the busyness (and business) of publishing came about in my life, I was all about finding the quiet. I have always found solace in going to a peaceful place to read, pray, or just sit and listen to the sounds around me.
My favorite way to lose the world has always been to listen to the rustle of branches and leaves as the breeze blows through my favorite reading tree.
When I was a little girl, I used to finish my chores and sneak off to my favorite tree, book in tow. I would climb so high I could look out and see the trees and pastures around our country home.
My mom would eventually miss me and step out on the porch to call my name. After she called for me a few more times, I would finally climb down and head back home, sorry to put my story on hold. Of course, Mom was always worried that I would get hurt, and I do remember that I once fell out of a different tree and sprained my wrist, but that was the only time.
I didn’t worry about falling back then. I was after the tranquility. I didn’t want to be found.
It’s the same now when I am writing or reading. I don’t want to be found. I love taking a book out onto my back porch in nice weather or dragging a chair to sit beneath the crabapple tree. During those times I tune out the neighborhood sounds and focus on the rustle of the leaves and the singing birds.
After sitting there for a long time, I eventually get lost and fall peacefully back into the story.