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QUINTESSENCE

Pebbles


Each pebble in this world keeps
its own counsel.
- from "Poem Holding Its Heart In One Fist," Jane Hirschfield, Given Sugar, Given Salt, 2001

Yesterday was the kind of day in which little things kept going wrong, and in some cases big things - trucks and leaking transmission fluid, broken furnaces, the internet down. This kind of day can simmer and thicken into sludge in the soul, a weariness that drags down all the optimism and energy you possess, leaving tattered and disheartened dismay. Easy to give in and have a single malt, call it a day, right?

Well, and yes I did (have that scotch). Put my feet up on the coffee table and considered the wasted hours trying to gain purchase against the assignments still on my work list. But I also reflected on the simple things that crept into the same day, and in their unexpected sweetness, buoyed me back up. For example, a letter from a reader speaking from the heart about THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE. That touched my heart. A conversation through the book between the two of us about faith and spirit and life. A wonderful, unexpected thing. And there was the hug at the end of the day from my friend, the one with the broken truck, a road to plow, and a late night at work, saying "You make all the wrong things right." Again, unexpected. Joy in my pocket.

Even the unstoppable snow. Which now has set a record in the region for the month of November, and is the source of great consternation and anxiety for me as it piles on the roof and I slide the streets in the Jeep to get the kids to the airport to catch their respective flights back to school. Even all this is somehow - all right. The quiet, the softness, the empty promise of so many white fields. The pebbles under the snowy cold keep their own counsel.

Does your day find a way to end on a good note?
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