Imagine going to the beach for the first time after a long while, walking in the warm sand toward the water, wondering all the while whether it's warm or cold, remembering how it felt last time, anticipating that first swim in the new yet familiar waves. Imagine finally getting there, standing just an inch away from the surf, wet sand under your feet, and as the new wave comes you touching the water with just the tips of your toes.
It's everything you've expected and not at the same time. It's the invitation and promise and when the anticipation becomes too much you charge in, splashing and making waves of your own. Or you tread slowly and timidly, watching as inches of your legs disappear under the surface and feeling the chill all the way through. Eventually you're in deep and you take off swimming, savoring the sensation of water washing over you and making you feather-light.
This year was just that for me, the first thrilling moments of discovering books again. I haven't read since high school really and now cracking the tomes and smelling the paper and ink and watching a world come alive around me through the magic of a printed word was like going to the beach for the first time in years and remembering how much I love it and wondering why I ever left.
One book did that. Or four, actually. I stayed up nights reading. I looked up places and people. I sought out the music mentioned in them and played the melodies over and over again. Those sounds made me feel like I've been missing out on the world until then. And I was.
I'm in deep now and getting ready to swim. The waters are vast and I'm only now starting out. At least now I know where to look for me.