Today I will inhale the blue Carolina sky and remember walking to the lake with Maggie.
Today I will hoard memories of bluets and newborn babes.
Today I will savor the imperfections that challenge me.
Today I will trust in family.
Because I have experienced loss.
Because I am not yet complete.
Because bluets may be my favorite flower and nothing compares with newbornness.
Because tomorrow I leave these loved ones to return home.
Dear SOLC Friends,
Thank you for your kindness in supporting me as a writer, teacher, and grandmother. I could not ever ask for more. So many of you have lifted me by your example of quality in both writing and living as aware, thoughtful human beings. Your stories, poems, and reflections are nourishment and creative calories for this hungry soul. I wish each of you the best in your lives.
I don’t understand the ache in my heart.
I don’t understand the grief in the joy.
It was a day for welcoming baby Johnny home.
Maggie dressed up in her best lilac dress.
Together we held him on the brown leather couch.
My arms surrounded the new brother and big sister.
“I love him, Grandma,” Maggie said.
Now, hours later, I weep.
My day with Maggie was mostly delightful. We took a walk, played with bubbles, made cookies, and read stories. While I was folding laundry, she put on her “Ariel” dress and happily ran through the house. On each lap around the living room, dining room, and kitchen, she detoured to the bedroom to crash into the bed; thus knocking over the piles of folded clothes. She thought this was hilarious. I was patient longer than I might have been with my own children 35 years ago. However, on the 6th or 10th time around, she dove on the bed and all the piles toppled.
“Maggie, it’s not nice to mess up someone’s work. Please don’t jump up here again. I’m almost finished.”
Lengthy pause. No eye contact.
In her most patient voice, “Grandma, I know it’s hard to understand.”
I had to struggle to keep a straight face on that one!
11 Things to be Grateful For Today
- All family members are safe, healthy, and accounted for.
- Baby Johnny arrived today. Eight pounds of wonderfulness.
- I got to spend an hour with my daughter and her newborn son.
- Maggie (3) and I played outside. She gathered “fruit” (aka leaves) for the “villagers.” She added rocks and sticks so that everyone would have enough to eat. I love this girl.
- Smartphone technology allowed Maggie to see her new brother in real time, hear his little newborn noises, and see the funny faces he makes.
- The spring peepers sang to the full moon. That sound means spring is really here.
- A bright green lizard surprised us on the deck. That’s not something that happens at home!
- Rapid-fire text messages between the 12 adults in the family celebrated the 11th little cousin. Such a blessing when we are spread across the country.
- A new Instant Pot recipe for Pulled Pork turned out great. Yum!
- Charlie, the 57-pound labradoodle (still puppy?), didn’t go too crazy missing Mark and Jill.
- AND, a time and place to think, write, and count my blessings.
Currently, I am:
distracted. A grandbaby is coming!
tired. Spring Break is a job-shift to Grandma to a 3-year old.
peaceful. The dishes are done. Everyone is fed and asleep.
nostalgic. New babies remind me of my babies now grown.
amazed. It’s a really hard, but really wonderful life.
I’m home alone.
What did I do?
I put on tunes.
Today I’m encouraged about writing after reading these words in Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant:
Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try. (p. 28)
Simonton finds that on average, creative geniuses weren’t qualitatively better than their peers. They simply produced a greater volume of work, which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality. (p. 35)
I’m no genius. I may never have a truly original idea. But if I keep showing up, keep trying, keep adding to the volume of my work, I might find the variation of words that will be the thing that I have to say. Adam Grant says that quantity is the most predictable path to quality. Lucy Calkins often reminds us that volume matters.
Volume of words?
Volume of ideas?
Volume of forms?
Volume of wordplay?
Just as volume is determined by the size and shape of the container, I’m wondering if I put limits on the size of the container of my words.
Maybe I need to turn up the volume.
And remember that so many little things can speak volumes. Even silence.