Photo: More Nora Valdez. I’m so delighted by her art.
New Englanders are complaining about the rain, but I actually don’t have a problem with it. The raindrops means I get to enjoy all the green without much itchy-eye or non-stop sneezing.
“I’m going to build an ark!” The safety-officer told me yesterday morning in the drop-off line.
“My Lordy! It’s not that bad!” I replied. “It brings the flowers or something, as the poem goes.”
“But it’s May now! I’m sick of it!”
I know I really shouldn’t complain about people complaining. Lord knows that’s me all winter. I’d much rather have the overcast sky above and the pop of green here below than the winter white/gray on the ground and the overcast above. Monochromatic landscape is boring. This, though, this Spring green set against the overcast sky, is brilliant and beautiful.
Perhaps I’m feeling good about the mellow rain because life has been so frantic and I don’t need the added desire to be outside. I took on a part-time job at my local bookstore, which is actually really lovely: I get a sweet discount on books, I get to email with authors (I geeked out about one yesterday), I get to be around people who love reading as much as I do, and I get to remember that I’m a writer and I should be writing. Every time I see a book on the shelf, I think, “this could be you. What have you done today?”
It’s a good thing to have a new source of drive and inspiration. In my efforts to be better at submitting, I’ve sent most of the stories I wrote for my Grub Street class out to various markets. The rejections have trickled in over the last weeks, with a slight uptick over the past few days. I am part of two writer’s groups and we celebrate the rejections just as we celebrate the acceptances. “You’re out there! If you’re getting rejections, it means you’re doing the work!” Rejections are the name of the game and it has taken me a really long time to embrace this part of the craft.
But it still sucks, you know? The chase. The grind. I do love the growth, so I do it. I do like that it’s a commitment and that the vulnerability is real and sincere. I like the practice in patience. I like that this is mine, for me, and there is joy in this gift. But the chase sucks, and the grind wears you down over time, and the rejection emails make you sad…
I’m still waiting for that first yes. I have the self-published books, and they are nice and I’m proud of them. I even have a bunch of sales and a group of sincere fans of my work. That’s wonderful and I’m proud of myself. Dear Readers who are waiting for that next episode in the Meadowlark series will be happy to know that I’m starting to work on Book 3. I hope to have a little something to show for it before the end of the summer. I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be at the moments.
But my Quiet Thoughts are about the anticipation, the hope, and the prayer. I think everyone holds little candles for something in their lives. It’s a hard exercise to love the candle, to care about it and to not drop it. It’s a hard exercise to love the exercise, to understand that it has purpose, to embrace that perseverance is a thing. It’s also hard to hold back the bitterness. I suppose that’s part of the discipline, too.
It’s another soggy night in a waterlogged MetroWest. There aren’t any drops falling right now. I think there is supposed to be sunshine here tomorrow. People are worried about their basements, their septic systems, the invasion of ticks… I’m still staring at the green. Thanks be to God for new green. Thanks be to God for Spring.
This Friday, my wish for you is very simple: I wish for you to get some rest. While the world outside is bursting out of every nook and cranny, I want you to take a moment to breathe. Let the outside world be frantic. Let the outside world have all of the energy. You, Dear Reader, need to recharge. Whatever it takes, Dear Reader, get some rest this weekend. The world will be here for you on Monday.
You are loved. I don’t know if someone has told you that in a while, but I hope you know it’s true. You are loved. What you do in this world matters. When you choose to wake up in the morning and be your best self all day, you set the example for everyone else around you. It might not be easy to do every day, but know that it’s important, and someone out there is thankful. Choose to be kind. Choose to shine brightly. In a dark, dark world, you’re needed now more than ever.
But rest first. We need you at your best.
I’ll be right back with you on Monday. Until then, take good care.