Cooing Doves and Skulking Cats

Something every writer hopes for is that someone somewhere will be affected by her words in a positive way. That’s why this email from a friend had me smiling from ear to ear the other morning.

“Hi! I love your Book!  I love the size of it and especially the paper that it is printed on and the cover photo.”  So far, so good.  I know we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but we do. I feel a little anxious about this cover because I realized after the fact that all of the women are white, and yet Eve’s Sisters are all colors, races, ages, sizes, shapes, and well, you get the picture.

But the email got better when its sender went on to say, “My favorite part of the book is the quote on page 103 about “inconceivable. …  Well, it’s been a long, hard day and I forget the word but I love it anyhow and it gives me comfort and strength.”

The word is “wonder”. I wish I could take total credit for the term, but I borrowed it from Zaleski and Kaufman’s  Gifts of the Spirit, a book with an overall theme of the importance of stillness and contemplation in everyday life. The exact quote is, “When you wake up tomorrow morning, let this be among your first thoughts: now is the time to begin….with the rest of my life before me, a path of unpredictable length and inconceivable wonder.”

My friend went on to relate some of her moments of inconceivable wonder, and at some point, with her permission, I’ll include them in a blog post. For now, I’ll just say that we both agree that those moments don’t have to be the HUGE ones in life. The important thing is that we pay attention, that we’re mindful enough to notice them.

Perhaps, my friend suggested,  people (including the two of us) should start recording the moments of inconceivable wonder in a journal.  While I think that’s an awesome idea, I think that some might have to start with baby steps on this one.  My suggestion is that folks start with a gratitude journal in which they jot down at least five things each day that they’re grateful for. I’ve been doing this for a dozen years or more, and it’s amazing how this one little exercise has focused my attention on what I have instead of what I lack.

In response to D’s email in which she shared some moments of inconceivable wonder, I shared one of mine with her. Here it is: Sitting on the back porch (okay, really a concrete slab) of my little place at the beach with Carrie at 6:30 one morning as we talked and watched birds, a squirrel with a big fluffy tail, a cat that seemed to be skulking around the various yards, and a pretty red Cardinal. We also listened to doves and had a big discussion about whether they were owls or doves. Since I don’t get to see Carrie that often, it was especially nice to have a few moments of quiet with her as we communed with nature. It’s not the BIG things in life that matter so much and that really touch your heart but the little ones that you’ll surely miss if you aren’t really paying attention.

Maybe my friend will read this and give me permission to share her moments. Maybe not. One thing I do know, however, is that she’s paying more attention to them and that she’s writing them down. What about you? Do you too have some moments of inconceivable wonder to share?

About jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer
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