Blues and violets were dancing together across the sky, accompanied by the setting sun. The trees on the hills strained to touch their tips to the periwinkle above. The highway dipped like a roller coaster and rippled for several more miles. It was a late-April evening in northern Florida, and it had been a day.
You know how some days can make your heart thump-thump-thump? My heart had been thump-thump-thumpy all day. Lessons hadn’t gone as planned and students were excessively edgy. Too many unexpected events, too many interruptions, too many minor hiccups were the perfect cocktail for a thump-thump-thumpy heart.
Several years ago I found some books by Christy Barritt. The first series I read was called Squeaky Clean Mysteries. They are the perfect mix of suspense and hilarity. Barritt has written a handful of other series; her most recent is the Lantern Beach series. These books follow Seattle detective Cady Matthews who is forced off the grid. There is a price on her head from her undercover work. She killed a drug lord. His followers are out for revenge so she has to disappear.
She disappears to a small town in North Carolina where she takes on Cassidy Livingston for a name and owning an ice cream truck for an occupation. Cassidy has a complicated and sad past, one that doesn’t get less so with a new identity or residence. One of the few ties she has to life in Seattle and life before going undercover is a day-at-a-glance calendar from her deceased best friend. When Cassidy needs to bear up her resolve, she takes note of the day’s conventional wisdom and clings to it.
Elisabeth Elliot is one of my favorite authors. She feels so keenly, thinks so deeply, and expresses herself so well. I thought I had read all of her books but Coie introduced me to Keep a Quiet Heart. When I went to get it on Amazon, I found a few others I had never heard of, including The Path of Loneliness: Finding your way through the wilderness to God.
I am somewhat embarrassed to mention that I bought a book with this title because loneliness conjures up notions of hopelessness, lassitude, and desperate unbelief. Talking about loneliness is also a vulnerable endeavor. There isn’t any shame in loneliness, though. People can be lonely at different times of their lives for myriad reasons.