"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Perfection Abounding in a Bounty of Berries

By Micky Wolf
Okay, a proliferation of alliteration. Couldn’t resist. These beauties hang heavy on their lattice of vines that reach over the fence in our direction. We don’t disturb them. After all, they do belong to our friendly neighbor who often invites us to partake of the abundance.

Maybe it’s due to a momentary intoxication with the brilliant reds, pale crimsons, and deep purples, as our neighbor’s berry bushes have exploded into a veritable feast for the senses in recent days.

Seeing. Multifaceted globes of marvelous design.

Smell. The light perfume of ripening fruit floating in the air.

Sound. The ever so quiet flutter of wings as a large male cardinal drops in to grab a treat and carry it to the nest of young ones nestled in the nearby tree.

Touch. Prickly thorns a finger-tip’s distance from a cluster, nature’s measure of protection for the unwary picker.

Taste. For my beloved and me, the best part. So versatile—with cereal, or mounded over a scoop of ice cream. Or simmered to a thick, gooey-jam goodness to slather on a thick slice of bread.

In this busy life most of us live, it can be a challenge to stop and smell the roses. Or observe the simple berry. On the other hand, taking the time to do so may be the best choice we make in any given day. Why?

Our five senses are pure gift. We could perceive that gift as mostly utilitarian. Necessary to our survival. And that would be true.

On the other hand, the reality is we are born into a world filled with broken, wounded human beings inhabiting a variety of lands and cultures. Suffering and pain are never too far from our door, or our heart.

The good news is that in savoring the seasons of bounty and beauty we are strengthened and nourished for the days of our journey when we must travel through those valleys and dark places.

Sight. Smell. Taste. Touch. Sound.

Will you take the time to open the gift?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Time to Focus, a Time to Glow with the Flow

By Micky Wolf

By the time you read this I will have finished the first major edit of a novel I completed a couple of months ago.

“Yet there’s more work to do before it’s ready to begin the submission process for publication,” she said. With a smile. And all the while offering up a prayer for wisdom and guidance each step of the way.

As intimidating as the process can be, I love it. (Well, okay. Some parts of it more than others.) Each phase offers new challenges, but also new opportunities to be stretched. To grow. To learn more about the world around me and myself.

A Time to Focus

One of the reasons I enjoy being waist deep in manuscript pages (literal or digital) is being in the zone. Or, put another way, it’s as if I become a laser beam, brightly focused on the work at hand. Why?

There’s no wondering what’s on the schedule for the day when I get out of bed. Dress, grab a bit of breakfast and with coffee mug filled to the rim, head for my study. Open the doc—click on ‘welcome back, you were last here’ and type away. Ponder. Type. Ponder. Type. Print the pages. And be sure to back-up everything before heading for bed.

On the other hand, there are occasions that favor a more laissez-faire approach.

A Time to Glow with the Flow

The journey from writing a messy first draft to holding a beautiful bound book is a long one. To say the least. Not unlike many aspects of life. Hills, valleys, dry mesas. Swamps. Indescribable joy, dark, mournful sadness. And everything in between.

Nonetheless, if there are seasons when we need to stay focused and keep our eyes, hands, and hearts on the tasks at hand, we also benefit from those occasions when we are to glow with flow. Glow with the flow? Yes.

Lamps, especially those that illuminate our walks or driveways emit a soft, mellow glow. They remind one of the times when it’s advisable—even healthy—to relax. BE. Pay attention to our surroundings and our responsibilities but understand the value of trusting that things—good, bad, or otherwise—will run their course.

The reality is there are choices, decisions, and actions we can take that will make the difference between completing an important project or falling short of the finish line. By the same token, too much focus without respite will only serve to make us tired, cranky, and a general pain in the behind to those we love and who love us.

Learning when each is called for may ultimately mean the difference between burning brightly—or burning out.