A little after seven.
I've been up for a couple of hours with a raging migraine, so I've had a chance to watch the sun creep over the distant mountains.
On Sunday morning, I get to sit in silence. I don't have to work or, even, think about work. Sometimes I do, of course. But, mostly I just try to listen. There is something in the silence that can't be found anywhere else. Not in the chaos of my daily life. Not in the busy-ness of my evenings. Not on walks with friends or dinners out. Silence is where I hear my own prayers and where I hear God's answers.
Not in an audible voice. Just in a simple nudging. A sense of purpose. A feeling that I am not alone in the quiet. There is a thickness in solitude, as if the air itself is energized.
It is difficult to explain, but maybe I don't need to. Maybe you have felt it, too.
This morning, I sat in the quiet with my horrible migraine, and I thought about me and God and the great world around me. I thought about my friends and my family, about the sun slowly rising and the cold air seeping through the window pane. I thought, too, about a reader who questioned what was hidden in my heart. She'd read The House on Main Street and was offended by the colorful language (to quote another reader). She posted a review and said something along the lines of, "What happened to Shirlee McCoy to make her turn to this? Or maybe this is what she's been hiding all along?"
She's changed it since the original posting, but I had the pleasure of reading it.
So, I was thinking about me and the darkness hidden away in my soul.
Foul language is not one of the things I hide away. I am, as the reviewer said, very articulate, and I can think of much more effective ways to express myself.
But, I do have things hidden away - insecurities, struggles, days when I just want to throw in the towel, crawl into bed and cover my head with the blankets.
But, then, I figure the vast majority of human beings are the same.
They are the people I am writing.
So, I am sitting in the quiet, and I am thinking of my neighbors and my friends and my family. I am thinking of my church and the people I love. I am thinking about how some are sweet and kind and loving, and how some are virulent and crass. I am thinking that in Apple Valley, Washington, people are exactly like that - a microcosm of the world in general, a little peek into every village, town, city, metropolis on earth.
The House on Main Street in an editor's pick in the Christmas edition of FIRST for Women Magazine.
And, I think it is because the town is exactly the kind of town all of us would like to live in. At least for a little while. The people who live there are the kind of people most of us have in our lives. Good people. Crass people. Funny people. Grumpy people. Christians. Non-Christians. People who want what we all want - love and acceptance and the chance to find the one place that is and always will be home. Yeah. It's a cleaner version of the real world. No sex. No clothes ripped off. Nothing graphic or explicit. It is "a cup of hot cocoa" kind of book.
And in the quiet, with my migraine, I'm thinking that's fine.