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.