By JUDY A. TOTTS
In â€œFirstlightâ€ ($19.95, Guideposts), Sue Monk Kiddâ€™s collection of stories and essays, the author writes: â€œAt the core of personal spiritual writing is a hungering for wholeness, for self, for meaning. The question of â€˜Who am I?â€™ reverberates quietly in these pages as does a willingness to be know.â€
The book gathers much of Kiddâ€™s early work from Guideposts and other sources. â€œFirstlightâ€ is the kind of book you can dip into at any point.
The book is celebration of discovery, of finding God in common moments. I liked best her wonderful description in the â€œTaste of Silenceâ€ segment, when she describes an early childhood memory when she was 4 years old. Awakened one night by a scratching sound on her window screen. She wasnâ€™t afraid. Instead, she imagined â€œincreasingly magical explanations for it, unaware that I was about to engage a mystery that would in some way linger with me the rest of my life.â€
She told her mother there was an angel scratching at the window. Her mother didnâ€™t dismiss her with sharp words for waking her up, too. â€œInstead, groggy with sleep, she knew that the ability to let go and listen creatively to the world as a mythic and sacred place, that the power to listen to the humdrum and the familiar and hear the sacred possibility of music inside it is a tender, fragile thing, easily lost. So rather than douse my first foray into holy imaginings, she put her blessing on it. She said, â€˜An angel? Wonderful. Say hello for me.â€™ â€
Many readers will identify with Kidd in her journey as wife, mother, woman and how she seeks the spiritual in these many roles.
Totts may be reached at 330-721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.