Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Frog Lesson

A few days ago I got in on a conversation about what we do while we're waiting for God to answer. That discussion spilled over into my writing on Monday. In the book I'm working on now, both main characters have put a lot of life on hold...until. Emily, my heroine, thinks she has a debt to pay before "real" life can begin again. In the midst of her waiting time, she's following her therapist's advice--"be present in the moment"--to ward off anxiety. But while she's focusing on the smell of the lilacs and the rush of the river behind her house, she's not letting any of it touch her soul. And by putting life on hold until her major problems resolve, she's missing opportunities for friendship and even a possible romance. As usual, my characters challenge me! It's so easy to miss the trees for the forest! While I pray for good news about Scott, sit beside my mother's wheelchair, cross off the weeks and the words until my first draft is finished, it's easy to forget to live in the moment--smell the lilacs, love on the people around you, rejoice in tiny everyday blessings.
Yesterday, three of my grandsons found a tree frog in our back yard. "Squiggles," gray-green and about the size of a quarter, gifted all four of us with hours of fun. Ethan, Peter, and Cole transferred their bug-eyed friend from a bowl to a box to the kitchen floor and (skip this if you're germaphobic) the dining room table. Squiggles took numerous baths, got burried in leaves, and took a nap on a towel in the sun. His sticky toe pads were tried out on the window, the refrigerator, and bare bellies. Once again, real life gave me material for my book. I reaped a few lessons for myself and for Emily about how to handle the waiting time. Even with black clouds hovering overhead it's possible to find joy in the little things.
And yes, there will be a little gray-green frog names Squiggles in this book!

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