The little things...
There I was, first Saturday of the holiday season, "resting". Normally, I would be decorating with glee. When my sweetheart suggested that we pick up some hamburgers and eat at a nearby park, I was thrilled.
For one thing, I love hamburgers. Well, more precisely, I love the french fries that often accompany hamburgers. Of course, my favorite are hand-cut fries of the fresh, not frozen variety. But as a connoisseur (wink, wink), I also find most fast-food establishments' fries perfectly acceptable.
But more than burgers and even more than fries, I love parks. The one where we took our lunch is ordinary in the extreme. There's a stocked pond that succeeds in attracting waterfowl and a little hill that was probably created from the soil excavated for the pond. A gazebo sits on the top of the hill, overlooking the pond and water fountain. A path/exercise trail follows along the perimeter, passing playground equipment and open areas to play ball.
And I love it. A little bit of nature is certainly better than none at all. I like the grasses at the water's edge; they surely provide habitat. I love the trees -- both the few, deliberately planted ones and the scrubby brush beyond. And I appreciate the community feel of the space.
We sat in our car, windows down, laps covered in napkins, and enjoyed our fast-food lunch while watching people and birds. The weather was cool and breezy and a bit overcast. But the sun kept peeking out, breaking the grey. What more could I ask for? But when an egret landed at the water's edge, I did ask for something more. Please, a photo? And so Joseph walked stealthily down towards the water's edge and snapped a few for me.
"You'll be surprised," he said when he handed my phone back to me.
And I was.
I'm back! It turned out to be a rather long break, but my writing is better for it. In fact, reading over a passage I recently composed for All Shook Up, I was surprised at how much better, deeper, and stronger the writing was. It occurred to me that it might be because I, myself, have grown a little better and stronger.
Glancing – only glancing – back at the last year and a half, it’s obvious that surgeries and other unavoidable life events delayed major rewrites. But I’m only just realizing that my writing was affected long before I realized it.
I write – and live my life – from a perspective of optimism and joy. I cannot claim credit for this internal, eternal hope. I thank God for it. Springing, as it does, from deep within, it’s not easily shaken by external circumstances. But certainly, stress and exhaustion – mental, emotional, and/or physical – can sap of us of energy and subdue good cheer. If you’re like me, you might feel guilty for your less than stellar mood or lack of energy and therefore feel even worse.
But then my hero made a getaway happen. We determinedly rested and relaxed and enjoyed every moment. And I feel refreshed.
Both foot surgeries failed, by the way. I’m having the first do-over next week. I’ll be off my feet throughout the holidays and effectively for much of the coming year.
At first, I was angry, frustrated, and in denial. But a calm has settled over me, along with a refreshed spirit and energy. It’s not that big a deal and, in any case, there isn't much I can do about it. I hope and pray it will all go well this time around. I believe it will.
And I can have a good attitude.
Grace in place of grace… (John 1:16)
Thank you, Lord, for your love and patience with me, and for my family and friends and their love and patience. And for your grace.
All glory and honor are yours forever. Amen.
God be with you.
These days, I'm speechless. That, you might consider, isn't so unusual for a writer. We have words, yes, but we like to write them down, not say them. So really, I should say I'm wordless.
Except that I'm not. I've been on a complaining/whining/griping jag for months! And then the world news, well... Sometimes, it seems I can't even control my own life much less the whole world. And there lies the rub.
There's only so much I can do, only so much I can control. When it comes right down to it, it's largely limited to my own behavior. I think. My own actions and reactions... And still, I make a mess of it at times.
We (all of us) can't always have what we want. We'd so hoped to visit our beloved Lebanon with our dear children this year. It didn't happen. We can't always get away. Sometimes, we have to stay and work and deal with things. And that, by the way, is if we're lucky.
Joseph and I were finally able to go away on vacation and I'm so grateful.
I love Türkiye. It's one of our favorite destinations, a magnificent land, rich with history, warm-hearted people, and stunningly beautiful scenery. That's to say nothing of the food...
We also visited Greece, a lifelong dream. It's gorgeous, too.
And all with my sweetheart.
If we hadn't traveled overseas, I would have opted for the mountains. If not the mountains, then a weekend at the coast. And if not a weekend, then a day. A little rest, getaway, change of scenery or change in routine can do wonders.
And if none of that is possible, a good book is a wonderful option! :)
Wishing you peace and hope.
A Little of This, a Little of That
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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