“Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;

Thy fate is the common fate of all,

Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.”

“The Rainy Day” poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow fits the weather as I write. Clouds gather and rain is predicted. I believe I appreciate the sunny days more because of the overcast ones. Bring on the rain!

With my people.

Just back from my first in-person writers conference in well over a year. The University of Northwestern in Minnesota is a wooded campus—perfect for meeting other writers, learning at the sessions, and reflecting on how to incorporate new ideas into my current project. And it was just wonderful being around other writers and seeing their faces!

Peaceful night.

Not so sure I agree with this month’s quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “The fountain of perpetual peace flows there” is from his poem, “Hymn to the Night.” So many people have trouble sleeping at night for a whole host of reasons. Sleeplessness is thankfully very rare for me. If my mind hasn’t quieted down at bedtime, the reader and writer in me acts. I read some light-hearted fiction or a spiritually comforting passage. And I keep a piece of paper and pen on my nightstand to document anything that pops into my mind—even if I wake during the night. It can sometimes be challenging to read what I wrote in the dark. But writing does get the thoughts out of my mind and into a physical medium. Just what I need to slip back to sleep.

Inspiring and helpful.

Cancer hasn’t been put on hold during this pandemic. I continue to be blessed with the impact “Surviving the Pink Ribbon” is making. From Tammy: “Inspiring and helpful. I encourage everyone to read this book. It isn’t just for those with cancer but anyone who has a friend or loved one dealing with the terrible disease. The author does an amazing job opening our eyes to what an individual experiences emotionally and physically and how we are able to help them cope with the process and emptions they feel.”

Reading and writing.

Just finished reading “Wired For Story” by Lisa Cron. This book has found a place in my top three books for writers. Lisa links scientific knowledge of the human brain with specific techniques writers can use (and avoid) to make their stories what our brains want. As an avid reader and a writer, I found this fascinating.

Let it.

“The farmers grew impatient, but a few

Confessed their error, and would not complain;

For, after all, the best thing one can do

When it is raining, is to let it rain.”

From “Tales of a Wayside Inn” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Slow down.

I found this fragile slip of paper in some ancestor belongings. The words belong to Wilferd Arlan Peterson, an American author. His words remind me as I step increasingly into public spaces to not always be in such a hurry.

Slow me down, Lord

Amidst the confusion of my day, give me the calmness of the everlasting hills. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations… of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read from a good book. Remind me to look upward at the towering oak, and know that it grew tall and strong because it grew slowly and well. Slow me down, Lord.

One human race.

“All that inhabit this great earth,

Whatever be their rank or worth,

Are kindred and allied by birth,

And made of the same clay.”

These lines from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Keramos”, were written almost 150 years ago. They remind me of what I fundamentally believe about my fellow humans: we are one human race, and God desires us to be molded more into His image as we live our lives.