Saturday, August 3, 2013

Nuggets From A Year in the Village of Eternity

My purpose in reading a book is, quite simply, to see more of Him.  I have discovered that if I but look hard enough, there is a glimmer or aspect or hint or picture of God that's never been experienced before.  And so, every book I read is a sort of treasure hunt - a look-out for at least one nugget of Truth that broadens my view of Him.  And those nuggets come in all shapes and sizes.

Typically, I write book reviews of only the most excellent books I've read.  But that's not to say there's nothing to learn from the other ones.  His shadows are everywhere.  So, from time to time, you'll see some Nugget Posts - a sharing of the odds and ends of "take-aways" that strengthen my view of Him and His ways.

Nuggets from A Year in the Village of Eternity: The Lifestyle of Longevity in Campodimele, Italy by Tracey Lawson:

* I came to Campodimele hoping I might learn how to live longer, but discovered something much more important - how to live well.

* As the apricot sky fades to a soft purple, the truth about Italian food sagre (local festivals, often held in honour of a particular food, just as the harvest is gathered in) is clearer than ever.  Yes, they are about food; yes, they are about giving thanks for the new harvest; but just as much - perhaps even more - these sagre are about the fact that Italians love stare in compagnia, to enjoy company and commune with their fellow man.

* And I remembered that even today, the simplest slice of bread only makes it to our table by the grace of the forces that we can't control.

* But here there is a different sense, one of certainty.  Because the pattern of the year to come is already known.  It's set by the seasons and the sun and the phases of the moon.  By the farming calendar and the festivals of the Church.  These form the irresistible rhythm to which life is lived.  Woven in between will be melodies yet unknown - new lives and joy; death and pain.  And the understanding that each has its place, that everything will pass, that the heartbeat of Nature will again make itself felt - uncontrollable and reliable, both at once.

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