“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ~ Rumi
The above quote opens my novel, The Space Between Time. You might say it’s a theme of the book. Below is a very short segment from Chapter 3.
The Set-up: Jenna has had a life shattering week. She’s gone back to her childhood home to recover and regroup. This is a portion of the scene where she finds her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan’s, journals begins to read and starts an extraordinary journey of discovery.
“Just then Jenna felt a rush of energy swirl around her. As she looked at the attic walls trying to determine what was happening, fog obscured her vision. She felt as if she were shedding her body like she would a cloak. Within the span between breaths the scene changed in front of her and she found herself sitting in a rocking chair looking out at an early spring afternoon just like the one Morgan had described. Something about the atmosphere was different than her home – more than that, it smelled different. Wood smoke instead of gas fumes permeated the air.
She looked down at the hands that were resting on a sketch pad. They were not her hands, nor were the clothes hers. She was wearing a dress that she thought was from the Civil War era. After a few gut wrenching moments, Jenna realized she was not only in Morgan’s world, she was sharing Morgan’s consciousness.
Panic overtook her, and she hyperventilated, or she would have had she been in her own body. This was far different than seeing the spirits of her parents, or reading a bunch of old journals. I’m going to get stuck here! How do I get back? The moment she thought that, Jenna felt the grief that was washing over Morgan. Grief – that was something she could related to. As Morgan took a deep breath, calm settled on Jenna. As crazy as it seemed, somehow she felt she was going to be all right. Okay, I’ll just go with it. I can panic later. What else could she do but trust? Hard as it was to admit, that was something Jenna didn’t know how to do well. Her mind merged again with Morgan’s.
She, they, were sitting facing the window of Morgan’s father’s room, a forgotten sketch pad on Morgan’s lap with a half finished sketch of Morgan’s father, and the greening mountains beyond. The apple tree just outside the window dripped with leaf buds. The daffodils she, they had planted near the front gate serenaded the sun. It was warm. Children laughed and played on their way home from school. The ice wagon rolled by hurrying to finish the day’s deliveries. Across the lane Mrs. Gardener gossiped with Mrs. Webb about the new dry goods shop owner. Their voices were audible inside the sickroom.
Mrs. Gardner said, “I have it on good authority that Mr Krause’s wife left him. He moved to Rutland to start a new life and forget. It’s too bad that the truth came out. He seems like such a nice man.”
“Why should it make a difference?” asked Mrs. Webb. “She’s the one who left.”
“Well who can tell, maybe he beat her,” said Mrs. Gardner.
“We don’t know the whole truth of the matter, Gladys. So don’t spread that rumor,” said Mrs. Webb.
Bird song followed the women’s voices. The afternoon light streamed in the window illuminating the white curtains and bouncing off the mirror on the dressing table. The room glowed with warmth and light. Jenna saw it all while at the same time experiencing everything as if she were part of Morgan. It was a disquieting sensation. The charms of the spring day could not entice Morgan away from her grief. Jenna recognized those feelings. She’d felt the same way when her mother lay motionless on her hospital bed.
Looking at Morgan’s father, Jenna saw the same signs of life leaving his body that she’d seen in her mother that night only a couple of weeks ago. Fully in the past with Morgan now, Jenna shared her pain and tried to give comfort.
Thomas lay sleeping fitfully. The pain was worse each day and sleep eluded him most of the time. That morning the doctor, seeing Morgan’s strained and weary face, had given Thomas a large dose of laudanum to help him sleep and instructed her to increase the dose when he stirred. There was nothing else that could be done for him. This was the end and Morgan knew it.”
This little segment gives you an idea of the basic premise of the book. Jenna shifts between dealing with the challenges of her own life, while periodically visiting Morgan’s. Both women face difficult challenges and help each other along the way.
I’ll share another segment next week.
Remember this is a work in progress. Thanks for reading. Make a comment if you like and feel free to share with a friend.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015