Strength in Silence

Photo by Matthis Volquardsen from Pexels

I rented a cabin in the southern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains last May. Having survived some of the hardest years of my life and learned too many unwanted lessons, I had made writing my outlet and hobby. For months I had been plugging away, chapter after chapter, at my first novel. The purpose of my trip was to clean up the rough draft and do a little free-writing. I wasn’t against an uninterrupted nap, either. My kids assured me they would survive, and my husband promised to feed them in my absence. After loading my suitcase into the car, I kissed my family goodbye and set out alone. 

The drive along the southern border of Tennessee was breathtaking with late-May glory. I meandered along the Ocoee River in heavy traffic, taking time to enjoy the spectacular views. At scenic overlooks I took pictures with my “good camera.” Lunch was a bag of M&M’s —because no one was around to talk me out of it— and a giant Dr. Pepper. I listened to the radio and a couple of podcasts to stay alert as the afternoon wore on and finally arrived at a sheep farm in Northern Georgia. 

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Illuminating Shadows

When I was young, my mother wrote poetry. As far as I am aware, she rarely wrote just for fun, but mostly as gifts for parents of new babies or as a comfort to friends who had lost a loved one. Her poems were simple yet profound and always received with heartfelt enthusiasm. It made an impact on me. She considered words to be valuable and important gifts worthy of sharing. She joyfully and freely gave them to those she loved. Though not expensive or store-bought, her gifts of poetry were rich in sentiment and the time spent to lovingly and carefully craft them for her intended recipients.

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