|I chose red--a favorite color|
She asked us to pick a new pencil and small chocolate kiss. Little things, carefully selected as good-bye gifts. We looked at our gifts as she said, "The pencil is to keep you writing and the candy, enjoy and believe in your abilities." Simple, small, sweet.
I've just spent a week at a delightful writer's retreat in Alpine, Texas. Karleen Koen, author of a new and best selling novel, Before Versailles, a novel of Louis XIV, shared her skill and instruction in novel writing--the basics. I needed every word. Karleen has talent and warmth in giving of herself, in big and little things. Poetry started every day, prompts pushed us to newer heights and laughter and tears fell from our beings as we, her students, shared the stretch of words.
I left her class with sadness that it had to end. I left with gladness that I had acquired some techniques to write to higher horizons. And, with pencil in hand, I began remembering the little things that have changed me-- a woman, a writer, a mom and spouse. I reflected on the significance of the pencil and candy, then began a list, with boundaries of "little." My list had to be "little" inspirations, "little bits" that change me. I could not choose big that happens only once; I must not choose outstanding awards or tragedies.
For two days I've listed "little." For two days I've reflected on simplistic, small, gratuitous "littles" that make a difference. Here's my short list:
1. a short writing prompt that pulled forward a thought I didn't know I had; i.e., a happy childhood memory
2. reading instructions in a manual and achieving the "how-to"; i.e. the camera self-timer
3. receiving a real old-fashioned letter or card from a long lost friend
4. overhearing a positive opinion about me or family--wow! that builds self-esteem
5. tasting a small piece of yummy dark chocolate--surprise, surprise
6. a good haircut--my mood lifter
7. hearing an old family story and laughing again
8. walking into home after being gone
9. a call from friend or family, to talk or visit
10. mail truck bringing unexpected package
11. a bite of food when hunger touches ribs
12. looking up to awesome cumulus white summer clouds
13. an unexpected smile, laugh or hug
14. old ND or Whiskers, wagging their tails "I love you"
15. a snugly nap--longer than planned
16. the first--the last page of a favorite book
17. God's books of Psalm, Philippians, and John
18. the geranium bloom that screams red; the rose that whispers beauty
19. a shared joke
20. and "I love you, mommom" from my dear grands.
Each is little. Each is small. Remember, the difference is in little things.I wish you hugs, great days and many little things.
a favorite scripture: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 15:7
a great read: Historical fiction by Karleen Koen: BEFORE VERSAILLES, a novel of Louis XIV. Crown Publisher, 2011.