Yesterday morning Sandy and I sat by a living room window to read the paper and have our coffee. Just beyond the glass, on a patio chair cushion, a small creature was at rest in the weak sunlight. I kept looking at it, trying to decide if it was a spider or a large fly. To see a fly remain in one spot so long is uncommon. I wondered if I might be watching a fly in the process of dying. Not that it mattered much but I was curious enough to invest twenty minutes of observation.
I happened to mention it to my M.O.W., who immediately got up, opened the door, said “fly,” and smacked at it with a napkin. I watched the insect zip away safely, leaving behind a tiny dark spot on the cushion. My curiosity ended just short of going out to investigate the gift. For one thing, it was on the chair she sits in, next to mine.
After 2,337 posts in 791 categories (according to my back page stats), this morning I have nothing to say. Maybe I’m too focused on finishing the desert story today. I don’t know what it is because I’ve never experienced it before. I just don’t have anything interesting (even to me) to tell you about.
I’ve been sitting here for an hour and that’s all the time I can invest in a failed effort. I hope tomorrow I’m back with you. For today, this is all I have.
This is such a beautiful time of year. I hope you see your share today.
I’m two days away from finishing the desert story and eager to get it done. This 5th time through hasn’t taken as long as the earlier efforts but I’ve still found several spots that needed more polishing. This morning I have a Highlights Foundation board meeting by phone that will last ninety minutes or so. Beyond that my schedule is free and clear today and tomorrow. Yay for that. Next week looks good for starting something new and moving ahead on an idea that has been in the works for a while. We’ll see how it goes.
When Bill Anderson came through Springfield the other day and we were visiting, one of the points he made was that writers are blessed almost daily with surprises. Someone sends a touching fan note. A request comes in for permission to reprint something. A new idea smacks us on the forehead. It doesn’t have to be a big surprise to brighten the day.
I’ve thought about Bill’s comment several times since then. He’s right. The surprises are like adrenalin in my system. They perk me up, recharge me, lift my spirits, remind me why I do what I do each day, even on mornings when what I really want to do is sleep in.
Example: Yesterday Su Hutchens sent me two poems from a second grade class she was teaching. All the kids wrote poems, then they selected two for me. I read them with a smile and promptly wrote a poem for them. The whole exchange was brief, but what a delightful surprise!
And if that weren’t surprise enough for the day, a friend sent a picture of his little boy, David, at the moment he opened an envelope addressed to him that contained a book of mine. It was a gift from my son, Jeff.
On days when it’s hard to smile, a child’s picture shows up or students send poems, and I’m reminded of the perks of being a writer.