Not So Simple Gifts

Day 71 of 365

I didn’t feel well last night, and though I am doing better today, I am trying to rest up some today. I’ll be short, but, of course, I have to keep writing. I always tell my writing students that one of the first steps in improving as a writer is getting your writing muscles used to working. I feel progress in this area. My writing muscles are improving, so I have to keep up with my plan, even if I can write just a little some nights, like tonight.

In the last couple of weeks, I have been worn extra from work and also have had some dear family members facing serious health crises. There has been much worry work, and though I know worry will not help, I worry anyway. And the heat is taking a toll, is it not? And, of course, here in Maine, as hot as it is, we are fortunate. I have family in Texas and Oklahoma, and they are dealing with temps well above 100, even 110 degrees, and they are having to regulate electricity use because the heat wave is taking such a toll on the grid. The reality that this is likely our new normal also takes a different kind of toll, I think.

When my neighbor arrived for a visit with her new puppy and a jelly jar of flowers, I was reminded of how much of a difference simple kindnesses can make. My spirits were lifted seeing her. I loved hearing stories about her children and what is going on in her life. It was a well-timed visit. Then, that evening, I was in my kitchen, and I heard someone calling my name. I hopped up and went to the front door, and there, standing in the doorway was my next-door neighbor with the most magnificent bouquet of flowers I think I have ever seen–and they were from her garden. She is a master gardener of all things, but, I swear, her flowers are the best in the world.

Neither of these women knew of my family worries or about my work. It’s like the universe just sent them to lift my spirits by coincidence, but it didn’t feel like a coincidence to me.

Then, today, I was given the most beautiful handmade blanket. It was one I had commissioned for the print annual of Farmer-ish, but it was still a gift of epic proportions. It’s the most beautiful blanket I think I have ever seen. My friend designed it and used gorgeous Maine-raised yarn. I can’t imagine the work she put into this blanket, and I will treasure it for the rest of my life. I am extra excited that she wrote the instructions for her original pattern into an essay for the print annual.

And, speaking of that print annual, I should get back to work on it. I am hoping to have it finished this weekend. It’s going to be magnificent. My friend’s beautiful blanket design really exemplifies how lovely this book is going to be. I can’t wait to share it.

Tonight, though I am tired and worried for my family and for the world, I am so thankful for gifts of love.

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