Yesterday I was at the annual picnic to remember my friend Elena who died seven years ago in a freak traffic accident while biking to work. Every year, when this date rolls around, I am reminded of how fragile and tenuous our lives are. I think about how everything can change, for better or for worse, in a heartbeat.
At times, I feel frustrated about the manuscripts dormant in my closet, unpublished. All those words written, labored over, sitting unread, unnoticed. I think, Why did I bother? The answer to that of course is that I couldn’t help myself. But then I remember the moment when I received that phone call about Memories from Cherry Harvest, the call that informed me that a publisher wanted to publish my book. In a hot minute, everything changed for that manuscript. And it could change like that for another one. I recently read a story about a book that came out ten years ago and sold modestly at the time, then a few weeks ago some successful businessman (can’t remember who) with high media visibility mentioned that it was the best book about business he had ever read. This book is now selling like hotcakes and went into a new printing. I remain hopeful that a story like that awaits around the corner for me too.
In a swift turn of a different sort, I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer (out of the blue) a few weeks ago and is preparing to face the torture of chemotherapy. As my heart bleeds for this friend, I am reminded that in a minute the charmed life that I lead could be yanked from beneath me and so I must always remember to remain grateful and to fully live and deeply enjoy this bounty I have so fortunately received. Drink to the bottom of the glass and savor the flavor.
While we are waiting to sell our house and move to something smaller and more manageable financially and physically, I grow impatient. The transition is not happening fast enough. But here is my in-a-minute experience for the week. On Wednesday I was sitting at my desk and I saw a car drive slowly by. I bolted out of my chair and ran out of the house in time to intercept the car on its way back past for the folks to have another look. I invited the couple in the car to come inside. They were absolutely charming. We chatted. They took a tour of the house. We chatted some more. They said they are very interested. Who knows if I will ever see them again? But the experience reminded me that we could sell and move, we could buy and settle somewhere wonderful, it could all happen (and probably will) in a minute.
I remember the minute I heard that my son was engaged to his lovely girlfriend of many years (wedding is now just around the corner); the minute that I heard that my friend Edwin had died suddenly of a heart attack leaving behind his wife (one of my best friends) and two beautiful teenaged daughters – eleven years ago this week and how they still grieve for him; the minute I realized that my mother was dying; the minute I realized I was pregnant with Sudi; the minute we arrived at the Ranch to begin our seventeen years living in paradise. I reflect on what it felt like in those minutes of change.
That is all.
Tonight's "super moon" -- full moon close to the earth, large and especially beautiful.
I am glad to be here in another August to see it.