Lately, I’ve been pretty exhausted by my job and things. Stuff. Events. Tasks. Overthinking. Worry.
Normally I work Tuesday evenings. But I had some vacation time to use, so I’m able to blog instead. I couldn’t have better timed my ask for random hours off. Gorgeous evening for walking and trying to focus on the miracle that is every day nature.
Amazing how life can look so different if you change your vantage point. Perspective is a heck of a thing.
It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been working a lot. But I’m popping with some fun news.
My short story, “Efficiency Leads to Fulfillment,” is published in the summer edition of The First Line. If you look at their site, that’s volume 22, number 2. Print copies of the issue can be ordered for $6, or a pdf is available for $3.
Or if you want to wait a couple of years until my contract with them expires, you might be able to read it for free.
Poor Frieda was left at home when I went out to ride today. My husband makes a weekly bicycle pilgrimage to what locals call the Big Tree. Today, I invited myself along. He dusted off our 30-year-old Burley tandem, Tandy, and we took it. It’s the only way I can keep up with him.
We’ve nearly sold good old Tandy a time or two, and she’s spent long periods of time in storage. I’m glad we still have her, though.
Here’s the Big Tree, a 400-year-old (more or less) bur oak at McBaine, Missouri.
Spouse included for scale in this one.
Some close-up photos of tree parts:
Think about it. This tree was here long before George Washington was born. I imagine it’s seen some things.
Strolling about the neighborhood today, I ran across the above sign in someone’s yard, a quote from one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin:
“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
This is from her novel, The Lathe of Heaven. I know I read it many years ago, but I forget a lot a the details. What I remember is that the main character is a man whose sleeping dreams change reality. But nobody else seems to notice.
This quote, though. It’s so true about the nature of love. It requires intention. There are other sayings along the same line that I’ve found to be true as I go through life. Here’s one: love is a verb. Don’t recall where I read that, but yes. It’s not a vague warm glow, it’s got to be active to have any positive effect.
Here’s another: Love is a choice. You choose how to treat someone. There might or might not be a pleasant emotional feeling while doing so. But the more you make that choice, the more likely you are to develop a pleasant feeling about it. At least, that’s my experience.
Actively choosing to find ways to reach out to our neighbors while we’re all separated is love manifested.
A friend recently asked on Facebook, “What did we even think about before COVID-19?” What indeed? I’m trying to remember. Baseball, I guess.
I’m doing an okay job most days keeping my equilibrium, but it’s impossible not to ruminate on coronavirus when it’s influencing every facet of life. All shall be pandemic, and all shall be pandemic and all manner of things shall be pandemic. That’s how it feels at times. Anything and everything I encounter is now viewed in the context of one particular disease, even when I get a long walk on a very nice morning.
But it’s not all complete despair. This is part of a mural along the MKT Trail.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” — Julian of Norwich.
Since nearby nature trails all seem to be crowded enough to make physical distancing a challenge, I’ve been sticking to city streets and sidewalks. Today’s walk had an education theme, as I decided to traverse a portion of Columbia, Missouri’s African American History Trail. I did not make it to all 37 sites, but I found a few of them. Maybe I can make it a project to visit all of them before my workplace opens again.