I was feeling a little burnt out today so I took refuge in The Lord of the Rings. It’s one of those books I read when I feel the need for healing – perfect combined with some gentle gardening (which today involved simply the picking of nasturtiums and jasmine). It occurred to me how differently we experience time when we’re reading. We can while away a whole afternoon and be surprised to see all the shadows shifted and the light changed when we finally lift our heads. But we can also experience the curious sensation of living a lengthy journey within the book in a very small span of our time. In the minute it takes to read a page we have the sense of living a longer space. If you think of it this way, just a paragraph has the power to stretch our lives.
They remained some days in Lothlórien, so far as they could tell or remember. All the while that they dwelt there the sun shone clear, save for a gentle rain that fell at times, and passed away leaving all things fresh and clean. The air was cool and soft, as if it were early spring, yet they felt about them the deep and thoughtful quiet of winter. It seemed to them that they did little but eat and drink and rest, and walk among the trees; and it was enough.