I recently went on a very uncharacteristic, spontaneous road trip from Boston to Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia. It was like time outside of time, or "kairos" as my Jesuit alma-mater would call it (meaning "a moment of intermediate time wherein everything happens"). We were camping, hiking, driving the open road, rarely looking at clocks, referring to the sun or varying chorus of nighttime insects for a sense of time. It was magic.
My travelling companion loves the writing of John Muir, known for his poetic and transcendent descriptions of experiencing nature. I was reading Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I think Muir and Whitman would have gotten along; it seems they both approach nature and life in the same way: by being present to the moment.
Since returning to Boston and reality, I have found myself in a book slump. For the past 2-3 weeks I've only wanted to read and re-read Whitman, as if by revisiting my favorite poems I can relive the feeling of being on the road, with no responsibility to anyone but myself, my companion, and the immediate world around me. I think I'll always be transported back to that early dawn at the highest point of the Smokies, that lazy drive through Shenandoah forests and the unbearable heat of Charleston every time I read Whitman.
Do you have books that transport you to a certain time, place, or feeling? Do you revisit these to re-experience your memories? What are some of these books for you?