Thursday, December 29, 2005

Small Steps

Cuppa and I began to read a new book last night because we finished The Lord of the Rings trilogy the night before. We have been to Tolkien's marvellous Middle Earth before, both separately and together, but LOTR is one of those tomes that you can read again and again. At least we can.

When I say that we read them, what I mean is that I read them aloud to Cuppa at bedtime. It is I who does the reading and she who does the listening, not because I am the better reader but because I am less sleepy at bedtime.

We started this routine quite a while ago now and have read many books in this fashion. For a while, it was somewhat of a hit and miss proposition, but it has long since become an integral part of our nightly routine, so much so that we don't miss too many nights, even on the road or in strange beds.

Our version of LOTR is 1037 pages long. We began sometime last June, nearer the end of the month than the beginning as I recall. Because we read only a few pages per night, we tend to think that it will go on forever, but, approximately six months later, we are done.

Somehow, that seems very significant to me. It reminds me of the old proverb: The longest journey starts with a single step. It makes me wonder how many journeys are never begun simply because the destination seems too distant and the effort too daunting? For most of us, however, the notion of taking a few small steps is not terribly dismaying.

This season is a time of fresh beginnings for many, the season of new resolves, a time for change. Consider the importance of small steps, however. Sometimes, it's not even crucial to have a grand and lofty goal in mind; sometimes, we simply need to take a few tentative small steps. Having begun to move, we may eventually surprise and delight ourselves with how how much distance we have covered.



Anonymous said...

What a lovely ritual. I love being read to.. It is such a soothing experience.

Talk about new beginnings! My webhost crashed on Dec. 23 and my entire blog was lost. I am back online as of today.. but as you say.. step by step .. I will rebuild. :-).

Rainypete said...

I've actually worn out a set of the LOTR Books. That's a great little bedtime ritual, very touching.

Dale said...

Well put, AC. Thanks for the reminder. I love reading aloud. I've often thought I'd like to visit hospitals or nursing homes and read to the patients. Perhaps I'll get to it one day -- one step at a time.

George Breed said...

So true. One of the entries in The Warrior of Spirit Handbook is "Just take the one more next step."

Bonita said...

And, one can break the one small step into even smaller components...if one is overwhelmed.

mreddie said...

The wife and I have done that a few times, she has read to me while I was driving on a trip or we have passed it back and forth (when I'm not driving).

I've heard it said that we should act in the direction we wish to move, and this could include some very small steps in the desired direction. ec

karla said...

You know, something about your unique perspective on everything just hits close to the heart almost every time I visit here. It’s hard to put into words, so I will keep it simple with a genuine thanks.