The park at the end of our street has saved me many times. It’s my peace restoring place when I feel stressed by life. It’s where I go for solace and solitude when the world around me gets to be too much. It’s where I go when people and things break my heart. I can stand on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and let the gentle sounds of the flowing river calm and comfort me. I always walk back home feeling better than when I left.
The picture above is of the historic bridge located on the opposite side of the river from the park. Built in 1904, the bridge had a relatively short life, being in need of repairs by the 1930s, and then closed in the 1940s. That’s when some enterprising thieves, disguising themselves as contractors, started dismantling the bridge for scrap metal. By the time the authorities caught on to the ruse, they were long gone with half the bridge. So, for nearly twenty years, I’ve stood and looked at this bridge during my many walks along the river’s edge. It’s been one of the constants at the park that I have found so very comforting. Well, sadly the bridge collapsed this past week. Being old and tired, it finally gave up and let go. At first, I couldn’t understand the strong emotion I had when I read about the bridge falling into the water. But, it was part of the park. It was part of the place where I went for solace in the bad times. Now, it’s simply a tangled mess that will probably be too dangerous to leave in the heavily used river.
So, sometimes life feels like that bridge. Do we lean into the troubled waters of life and think, “How much more can I take?” But, endure we must! Maybe we lean into friends, family and others for support. And we brace happily and let them lean back towards us in their times of need.
So, I’ll miss the old bridge. But, I have my happy memories of it standing across the river. Time to go forward and make more memories.
Go make some memories Y’all!
The movie, Under The Tuscan Sun, is one of my favorite movies. It tells the story of a writer (no wonder I like it so much) who moves on from a nasty divorce by buying a Villa in Tuscany. Of course, she’s still sad. Finally, her new friend Katharine advises her:
When I was a little girl, I’d spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.
The point, stop trying so hard to find the thing you don’t have right at that moment. Find the happiness in the now, and the rest will follow for you. So, what’s my point? I’ve been pushing to get my book published, to be a writer, that I am forgetting to enjoy the journey of writing my book.
The next bit of advice that Katherine gives her is to, “Go work on your house and forget about it.” So, I’m telling myself the same thing, “Go work on your book and forget about it.” I have so many things to be happy about and grateful for right now! Why ruin that thinking about what hasn’t happened yet with my book.
So, have fun. And, go work on whatever it is, and forget about it!
We live in a heavily populated area of Atlanta. So, when beautiful creatures like the one pictured above show up in our yard, it is a pleasant surprise (although we do live very close to some woods and the river, so it is a pretty safe area for him) . When things are at their worst, when life throws you some curve balls, sometimes it helps to look for the simple joys in life. The things that make you stop for a moment and just breathe. The little laughs that can come along. This deer and my two cats were having a stare off. My cats started pacing back and forth in our sunroom, and the deer was fascinated, it was really sweet, and made me laugh. He stood there and watched them for a long time.
I hope you had joy in your universe today. And, it’s almost the weekend! Happy, joyous universe.
One of my best friends in all the world let me know she was diagnosed with cancer yesterday. You know those friends that are in your core group of friends? The ones dear to you that you have been friends with forever? She is one of those friends. So, my world stopped spinning for a moment. It whirred back to life of course, with a jarring start. I paused for a moment, breathless in the thought of life without her. But, I simply cannot think that way. I must be positive for her!
Then all the stupid things I worried about all week, well, they were gone in an instant. What is important? The ones we love. The good we can do. The joy and enjoyment we can get from our lives. We must not waste any of it, this gift of life. And, we cannot let anyone or anything rob us of our joy in living our unique and beautiful life.
So, please, go hug someone you love. Call that person you’ve been mad at and try to make amends. Yes, our living is beautiful. Yet, it is can be so fragile.
For the love of the cozy…cozy mystery that is! So, it’s been a year. A year since I put my baby, my blood, sweat, and many tears, my book out there into the literary world. Yes, a year of rejection. Yet, a year of learning, learning about my craft of writing, and learning about myself. I’ve learned that for me, life just can’t be all about this book every minute. Sure, it is very important to me, and I want to spend every minute I can making it the best book that I can make it be. But, for me to be truly happy, this book must meld and mix into the other parts of my life that I hold dear. My marriage, my friends, my spirituality, my book, these have to come together in a harmonious whole for me to be the person that I want to be. I’m sure you all feel the same.
Anyway, my cozy has taken me on many twists and turns (just like any mystery should). But, now I feel I’m in the home stretch. One of the rejections I received said it just wasn’t as good as it could be. I agree. So, I have made a MAJOR plot change. I’m so very happy with it! This change has gotten me close to the book that has been in my head for so long now (it’s been amazing to me how hard that has been to do). So, here’s to another year of searching for the way to get my book published. I won’t stop until I do.
Never give up y’all.
Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, USA
Go ahead, dare to take that less traveled road! Sure, it will have bumps, pot holes, and muddy spots. Of course, you will want to turn around and run for the other path. But, that road less traveled? It is as unique as you, and there is nothing wrong with that. So, dream that dream. Own that journey. Make that path your own.
Happy motivated Monday.
*With love to the great Robert Frost
In the past two weeks, I have watched helplessly as two families I know have suffered the unexpected deaths of their loved ones. I’ve tried my best to think of words of comfort. Yet, words just seem to fall flat given the enormity of these terrible losses. So what to do? Truly I think we honor these ones by living our best lives. My mother’s words ring in my ears, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” she would tell me. Good advice to a daughter with an overactive imagination; advice I tend to forget from time-to-time. So, the gossip, the back stabbing out there, we simply have to let it go. All the stupid stuff that we worry about, we must brush it from our mind like a stray hair that has fallen from our head. Enjoying life? It’s about our friends. It’s about our families. The gold in our lives is the time spent with the ones we love. So, hold those ones tight y’all. Don’t ever let go over hurt feelings, our mis-understandings. My two beloved families had no idea they would be dealing with these tragedies just mere days ago. Nothing is a guarantee in this world, so breath in, breath out. It is vital that we make the best of each and every day!