Today I join Emily P. Freeman to share things I learned in the month of October.
1. I learned that obligating myself to notice and write about something every single day for the month was a rewarding thing to do, and, though it kept me up too late many nights, it made me glad.
2. I learned that this Pumpkin Gingerbread is extremely excellent. (I made mine with cane syrup instead of molasses — constraints of the cabinet — and cut the sugar in half because cane syrup is sweeter. Also, I served it with whipped cream rather than caramel sauce.)
3. I learned that, in addition to making everyone more cheerful, cool fall weather infects me with a strong desire to be baking and eating delicious things.
4. I learned that Thomas Hardy’s novel Far from the Madding Crowd was capable of engrossing me. Inside the dust jacket was this quote from Margaret Drabble, who is, I suppose, a literary scholar:
Perhaps the greatest Hardy paradox of all is the way in which his work achieves the universal through his intense attachment to the particular. . . . He writes of tiny, insignificant hamlets and villages, and gives them the ring of eternity.
To that, I say yes. Hardy writes with a perceptible love for his characters, which softens the blow of the hard things he narrates.
5. And he also has this poignant description of marriage, tantalizing and beautiful in all that it doesn’t say: “And at home by the fire, whenever you look up, there I shall be — and whenever I look up, there will be you.”
6. I learned — again — that what Proverbs 3 promises about kindness and truth is true. (No surprise there.) When they are bound round your neck and written on the tablet of your heart, you will find favor and good repute.
7. I learned more about football, and a little bit about what it’s like to have your team be ranked #1.
8. I learned that wearing my dad’s old flight suit to a costume party makes me popular for photos.
8. I learned again my propensity — this human propensity — to metaphor as explanation, a gift from the God who created the universe to express Himself to us.
©2014 by Stacy Nott