Words cannot begin to describe the surprise, amazement, delight and gratitude that I felt when I opened a large mysterious package recently. I was agog. I have loved our adventures and I have loved writing about them, even to the extent that writing is part of my meditation practice. Editing and publishing my first personal book was challenging, scary and exciting. My readership is considerably smaller than Cheryl Strayed’s who is living the writer’s dream, whose book “Wild”, about redemption hiking the Pacific Crest Trail be selected by Oprah for her book club. www.cherylstrayed.com/wild_108676.htm
My gratification as a writer is more private, though very deep. And I have thoroughly relished invitations to speak with readers at book clubs. Those readers really have great questions leading to wonderful discussions, and opportunities to relive experiences and explore life lessons learned. More than enough conditions for happiness…..
However, this surprise package thrilled me to the core. The beautiful watercolor and ink painting arrived unbidden, created by my high school classmate, artist Linda Johnson Roesch. San Marino High School Class of 1958 www.smnet.org/comm_group/smhs1958/WhatAreTheyDoing/
Linda lives in Vermont and we have only seen each other a couple of times since high school, but she got wind of my book, Pulling Up Stakes: Stepping Into Freedom, and bless her, was so inspired reading the book, that she took up brush and watercolors and created this mosaic, listing every single place mentioned in the story–and most of the characters including each of my children, and she signed it with an ink drawing of a llama with wings, an homage to the cover art. Without saying a word, she packed it up, shipped it west, and gave me the deepest thrill a friendship over decades and across the continent could possibly bring to an author.
Cheryl Strayed, were you any happier when Oprah called you? I am sure you were in bliss, but this inspired act of generosity surely nourished my bliss as well.
Together, we Step Into Freedom practicing random acts of kindness. Thank you SO much, Linda, Dear Friend!