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Balance

When I was a teenager, one of the things I worked tirelessly at was how to do a handstand correctly, without falling backward or worse hurting myself. For a few minutes every day, I placed my hands near an unobstructed wall, tightened my core area, and swung my legs up. My parents groaned when I hit the wall with a big bang.

“Sharon, stop it! You’re going to break the picture glass in the living room,” my mother would exclaim.

It took a long time before I was able to balance away from the support of the wall and even then, I could only hold the pose for a few seconds. I kept trying. Up and down. Up and down. When I finally did a free-standing handstand, in just about perfect form, it left me feeling euphoric. The joy of evenly distributing my weight enabled me to be calm and unwavering.

As I’ve written in earlier blog posts, yoga is part of my daily routine, and for the past several decades I continued to practice the handstand, the elbow balance, and the king of all poses –the headstand, not only for my health but for the discipline of how to balance; how to live with equilibrium, poise, stability, and a sense of steadiness with myself and the world around me.

I don’t have answers to the most troubling issues of the world and even my day-to-day life often has glitches: learning a new software program, navigating the latest rules of book marketing, and keeping up to date with social media and innovative technologies. How do I do that? What does that mean?

This art of balancing my body upside down every day, this habit of calm behavior, has taught me how to maintain a certain sense of mental and emotional stability, and how to focus my attention on one thing at a time. Because if I don’t, I usually fall.

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.” Oprah Winfrey

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Thanksgiving

Usually, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season. Although, for some, it starts earlier than that. Many celebrate the day with a big meal with family and friends. The table is filled with traditional foods: turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cornbread, and pie. Families gather around the table and share what they are thankful for. In the morning they may watch the Macy parade or run in a local Turkey Trot or in the afternoon, play or watch a football game.

Although on different days and with different customs, Thanksgiving is also shared in other countries: Germany celebrates Erntedankfest (harvest thanks festival) on the first Sunday of October; on the second Monday of October in Canada; Australia on the last Wednesday of November; Brazil the last Thursday in November; Grenada October 25th; Liberia, the first Thursday of November; the Netherlands on the first Wednesday in November; Rwanda the first Friday of August; Saint Lucia the first Monday in October; Japan November 23rd; and the United Kingdom on the first Sunday of the harvest moon.

Prayers of thanks and harvest ceremonies have been around mankind for centuries. Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the autumn harvest. Ancient Hebrews and Chinese held harvest and thanksgiving celebrations.

Thanksgiving was and is about abundance and being grateful for that bounty, for, without it, there is suffering.

Google estimates there are approximately 828 million people worldwide that go to bed hungry every night. 193 million people in 53 countries face acute food insecurity; meaning they are unable to adequately feed themselves and are at risk of starvation. 26 million children under the age of 5 are wasting, leading to a low weight and height ratio, and associated illnesses.

My mother experienced acute hunger during the Depression era. Her tendency to hoard food was with her until the day she died, which is probably why she became a chef and showered her loved ones with great Thanksgiving meals.

I’ve experienced hunger, although not to the extent of starving. If I chose to go on a fast, I always knew I could break it anytime, and for the rare times I went without food for a few days because I stayed out in the wilderness too long or forgot to pack enough provisions, I had a few extra pounds of body fat to tie me over until I could eat again.

As Thanksgiving approaches, and I once again enjoy the gifts that are my family and friends, and the fact that I will not go to bed hungry, I will take a moment, and vow once again to not take the richness that is my life for granted.

“May the sun bring you new energy by day.

May the moon softly restore you by night.

May the rain wash away your worries.

May the breeze blow new strength into your being.

May you walk gently through this world and

Know its beauty all the days of your life.”

                                                                           Apache Blessing

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Sundays

Growing up, Sundays were a day of rest. Later, when I had my own family, Sundays continued to be a quiet day: no hurry to get out of bed, everyone pitching in to make a delicious brunch –waffles were our favorite, sometimes baking a special dessert for dinner, leisurely walks in a nearby park, a drive up into the mountains. A time for reflection. Often, I wrote in my journal or thought about my dreams for myself and my family.

When my children left home, my husband and I continued to follow our peaceful Sunday ritual, albeit not always making brunch or dessert but trying to make it a day to appreciate what we have.

This Sunday, we slept in, made a simple breakfast, and drove north for about an hour, admiring the spectacular views, until we came to the turn-off onto a forest service road to begin a fifteen-mile bumpy ride. We passed a few hunters as we snaked up the mountainside. The speedometer read seventeen miles per hour. It hadn’t rained for a long time, so the truck was covered with finely powdered dirt when we stopped at the trailhead about fifty minutes later.

I put on my windbreaker, and we headed up the trail. I expected to see a few other hikers but this Sunday we didn’t see a soul as we ambled our way up the slope, stopping now and then to catch our breath or sip some water. Once on top, we found a rock outcropping and scanned the horizon, mountain range after mountain range in perfect view. The silence was remarkable.

We stayed long enough to munch on a sandwich before we quietly hiked back down. I mouthed a silent thank you, grateful that in the many years since I first came to this place, it has remained relatively unchanged; something I don’t see that much anymore.

Driving home I listened to the music my husband selected on the radio and watched the day drift toward evening, without thinking about all the things I needed to get done on Monday, thankful for the day to refuel. There are so many reasons to be happy.

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of happiness and content.” Anonymous

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

New Laptop

The screen went black and then the infinite spinning circle went round and round for about an hour before my laptop simply shut down. I waited a bit before powering it back up. Next, my homepage screen image came on, and I thought all was well before the screen went brown to black, and then nothing. Dead. Sigh…

I’ve worked on my laptop continuously since I got it in 2017 and although I knew most laptops don’t last more than a few years, I secretly hoped mine would last forever. I had saved most of my important files on an external hard drive and One Drive but recently downloaded a series of photos, articles, and a few other miscellaneous items onto the computer, thinking I should move them into a more secure location. Too late. Some of my blog photos and a novella piece I’d written were gone too. Lesson learned.

After some research, I ended up buying a laptop like the one I had, just updated, sleeker, with Windows 11 and a few fancy tools. Immediately I noticed a difference when I turned it on. The whirring noises I had become accustomed to were no longer there. Navigating the web took less time. Command buttons worked right away. I think my eyes got a little brighter too.

For the past few days, I’ve been getting used to my new toy. Learning Windows 11. Downloading, moving, and cleaning up files. Selecting new background and screen images. Creating shortcuts. Watching videos with ease. Linking and unlinking websites. It’s amazing what an upgrade in technology can do!

My kids tell me I am a tech immigrant, meaning I did not grow up with technology, it isn’t my first language, and therefore, tech issues, solutions, and resolutions do not come easily. I must work at it. All the time. And although I have become somewhat more competent in the art of tech, I admit I’ve already been stumped a few times with the new look of Windows 11, eliminating files I do not need, and getting rid of annoying trails. Hopefully, this computer will last as long as my last one did, and with any luck, I’ll know when to get a new one before this one dies.

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” Amy Chua

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Arrival Fallacy

The daily process of working toward a desired goal can trigger reward centers in the brain whenever one gets closer to achieving that objective, let alone finally reaching the finish line. However, dedication to a long-awaited purpose or goal can be slippery. The continuous work to improve can bring an unattainable illusion of perfection or a cycle of always having new goals to take the place of those already fulfilled. Additionally, reaching the finish line may bring new challenges and responsibilities.

It can be easy to become steadfastly transfixed on achieving that goal and get mired in busy work, feeling happy when certain tasks are completed, unhappy when things don’t go as planned. Although admirable in some ways, society does reward professional and personal progress, yet working tirelessly toward an important goal can affect mood, connections, purpose, and even self-worth. And when that personal dream comes true, one can feel haunted by anxiety and a sneaky sense of disappointment. In psychology, this disconcerting letdown is called the arrival fallacy.

The neuroscience behind the arrival fallacy states that the brain releases dopamine, the hormone associated with happiness when we are working on something. Each milestone gives us another dopamine hit, making us want to work harder. But… when we reach the goal, that release of dopamine drops and we can feel a bit down or worse.

I’ve worked for over a decade to bring my recently published book, Wandering …a long way past the past, to the world. I dedicated hours to writing, editing, seeking consultation, attending workshops and classes, and learning about the publishing world, book marketing, and social media. Although I still have more to learn and do, the book is published. The limited hardcover edition is out and people are reading my story.

For the past several days, I’ve felt unmotivated, avoiding social situations, with an aversion to loud noises or crowds. My chest feels hollow. Shouldn’t I be jumping up and down? Shouldn’t I be holding out my arms wide as if to hug the world? Shouldn’t the words woohoo, I did it! be pouring out of my mouth?

I read an article stating that when we finish something big, that goal may have likely been so intertwined with our lives that we forgot about the other parts of our identity; the principles we believe in. The article also mentioned, “take some time to pause, reflect, find you.” That is what I did all week: listening to quiet music, meditating, long hours of doing nothing, staring at the big open sky wondering if the cliché “it’s the journey that matters, not the destination” is true. Value the process over the result.

“Achieving a goal is nothing. The getting there is everything.” J. Michelet

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Birth of Wandering

The first signing event for the hardcover limited edition of my second book, Wandering …a long way past the past, has come and gone. It was a beautiful autumn day, with clear blue skies, and warm enough to open the large door at the yoga studio where I teach. After cracking open the cases, the owner of the studio and I marveled at the striking book cover and placed them up on a linen-covered folding table with flowers and pens. We put out an assortment of cookies and lemonade on a smaller table.

As we were setting up, a woman stopped by. “I know I’m early, but I’m headed out of town and want a copy.”

I dropped everything I was doing and gladly signed her copy, engaging in a brief conversation.

She said, “I loved your first book, Sylvie, and couldn’t wait for this one.” She held up her book. “Great cover by the way.”

For the next few hours, friends, some of my yoga students, acquaintances, and kind strangers stopped by to pick up their copies. It wasn’t a rushed event with long lines. People simply came and went with enough time between visitors to chat for a few minutes. I got to spend time with lots of different people and appreciated their comments.

I did not sell as many books as I had hoped, but the books I did sell went to people who follow me, who appreciate my writing, who wanted to chat and stay a while, and most importantly, who truly wanted to read my book.

A few months ago, I tweeted, “What would you prefer: 1,000 followers who care about you and your writing or 10,000 followers who don’t particularly care about you or your writing?” Almost everyone responded with, “1,000 followers for sure!” Some replied with longer responses stating how important a few meaningful followers meant to them over an expanded following.

I tend to agree. There’s something about quality over quantity that appeals to me. And although book marketing experts might disagree, there’s a gladness in my heart as I bring this deeply personal story to the world.

“As we grow up, we realize it is less important to have lots of friends and more important to have real ones.” Amanda McRae

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy dates back as far as 3000 BCE in India. Used by Hindus in their life health medicine called Ayurveda, the practice of massage was passed down through the generations to heal injuries, alleviate pain, prevent disease, and even cure certain ailments.

Early written records of massage therapy have also been found in Egyptian tombs; images illustrating people being massaged or rubbed by others. In China, there are texts as early as 2700 BCE documenting the homoeopathic benefits of massage therapy; combined methods from Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophers who believed the power of touch essential to spiritual training.

Somewhere around 1000 BCE, Japanese monks who studied Buddhism in China brought back the healing methods of Chinese medicine, including massage therapy which gave rise to the traditional Japanese massage method now called Shiatsu.

A google search indicated that there are now about 80 different types of massage used today such as Swedish massage, Thai massage, Deep Tissue massage, Aromatherapy massage, or Sports massage.

I have not had a massage in a really long time, partially because of the Pandemic, also due to finances, and I didn’t make it a priority. So, for my birthday this year I asked for a massage at a nice spa in town: spacious massage rooms with hi-tech music systems, nice smelling candles, a steam room, guest robes and slippers. When I filled out the necessary paperwork before my massage, there was a long list of types of massages I might want: Shiatsu, Percussion, Hot Stone, Trigger Point, and so on. At the bottom there was a box with the words “Life Massage; tell your masseuse what it is you need.” Yep, that’s the one for me. Check.

My masseuse, in her nicely pressed black uniform, asked. “Are there any areas of your body you’d like me to focus on today?”

There were so many places that craved kneading I didn’t know where to start but picked my sore neck and shoulders. I lay down on the heated massage table and allowed myself to be massaged, pressed, rubbed, squeezed, molded, and manipulated for what I thought could surely only be about 20 minutes but was actually 90 minutes; my thoughts slowing down to a snail’s pace, often close to dreaming. It was lovely.

I ended my massage with a 10-minute super-hot steam followed by a laidback time in which to dress, drink a glass of cold water, and reflect on how peaceful I felt, evident by the soft glow of my face gazing back at me when I looked in the mirror.

I’ve had lots of wonderful gifts over the years, many of which I’ve forgotten about, but the gift of touch is one that will stay with me for a while.

“No other form of communication is more universally understood than touch.” J. Blume

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Thunderstorm

Meteorologists predicted a series of thunderstorms starting around midnight, but the storms did not roll in until just after sunrise with a series of intense booms and dazzling lightning strikes; followed by deep thunderclaps. Then, the rain fell in a steady pour, soaking everything. Little rivulets formed over dry earth patches. The moss, sopping up the moisture like a sponge, changed from its’ dry brown tinge to green in a matter of minutes. The skies became dark before another resonating thunderbolt and three or four flashes: the lightning alternating between a glowing blue-white and a lilac color.

After the storm passed, I went into town to do some errands. As I drove, a light mist covered the windshield with just enough moisture to warrant windshield wipers, and when I came to the intersection of where my country road meets the main thoroughfare, a rainbow appeared. The distinct rosy red intermingled with the orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

I’d read that rainbows have been symbols of optimism to cultures across the globe since the beginning of human history, connecting people as a sign of new beginnings or promise. In many cultures, it is seen as a representation of good luck, or that good news is on the way. Folklore suggests that seeing a rainbow is an affirmation of equality and peace. Irish legend states there are pots of gold to be found at the end of rainbows. Rainbows don’t last long, dispersing quickly. Therefore, for some, it reminds them of impermanence, that all things arise and pass away, and that our world is in a constant state of change.

I like them all but the one that sticks for me today is that after the chaos of a storm there is always light, there is always hope.

“There is peace even in the storm.” Vincent Van Gogh

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Be Brave

Brave /brāv/ ready to face and endure danger or pain.

The word brave originates from the 15th-century Italian word ‘bravo’ –courageous, untamed, savage; based on the Latin word ‘barbarous’ –wild, primitive, foreign. Bravery is the admirable quality of being able to confront frightening things.

When I think of someone brave, I conjure up images of a soldier going off to war to defend his homeland or Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, or Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her bus seat, or Mahatma Gandhi who employed nonviolent resistance to successfully liberate India from British rule. I don’t think I can come close to being as brave as they were. My attempts at bravery are a lot less remarkable.

For instance, several years ago, when I was trying to do a headstand, my heart raced whenever I went upside down. I was scared I might hurt myself if I didn’t do it right. So, I went to a few yoga conferences and watched experts doing the pose and took notes. I went to workshops, and still, my headstand was not up to par.

It’s embarrassing to admit how long it took me to perfect (or at least improve) my headstand. Get into proper form. Engage my back and core muscles. Lift both legs at the same time, like a drawbridge, and slowly lift my legs until they were in a straight line with the rest of my body. No wobbling. Breathe. Stay in the position for two minutes before lowering my legs exactly as I entered the posture. Bravo.

I do my headstand every morning, but I’m not afraid anymore.

Now, what scares me is you. The people I know and do not know who read my blogs, books, and poems. Those that appreciate what I write. Those that don’t. Those who criticize. Those who praise. It scares me sometimes, but I do it anyway because, in the same way, I wanted to do a headstand well, I want to write well, and the only way I know how to do that is to keep on writing. Life will either contract or expand depending on my courage.

“Do something that scares you every day. You have nothing to lose except fear itself.” Dalai Lama

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Present Moment is a Gift

The word present has a few meanings. It can mean a particular place: I needed to be present to get my reward. Or, occurring now: my present situation overwhelmed me; as well as, meaning right now: I refused to think beyond the present moment, no past or future. The word can also mean to give or make something known such as I won and was presented with a gold medal. Additionally, the word denotes a gift; an item given to someone without the expectation of anything in return –the present I received was beyond my wildest dreams.

I find the word present interesting because it concerns both time and giving. Enjoy the present. There’s no time like the present. At the present time. Be visibly present. Pay attention to the present. The future depends on what we do in the present. Real generosity lies in giving all to the present. Be present to win.

For most of my life, I’ve been working on this task of being present. It seems so easy. However, most of the time I get so caught up in things that I forget what I’m doing, why I am doing it, or even who I am. Sometimes, I get so busy I forget to breathe or look at the people I love.

So, this week, when I had some extra leisure time, a pause from my writing projects, my upcoming book signing event, social media, and socializing, I decided to not turn on the television or pick up the phone or tackle my to-do list.

Instead, I settled into as many present moments as I could, appreciating the beauty and the wonders of the world around me: the sunset last night, welcoming the cool air on my morning walk, taking my time to eat my breakfast, aware of the tastes and sounds and the absolute joy of not rushing from one moment to the next. Simply waking up, smiling, and vowing to live as fully as I can.

“Treat every moment as a gift, that is why it is called the present.” Deepak Chopra

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Loft

A special place for writing was not something I ever had until recently. A cleared spot at the kitchen table, outside on a park bench, ideas jotted down on paper scraps, thoughts scribbled on the back cover of a work journal, and occasionally taking a personal day just to write wherever I could, was my normal. However, when I retired from my long career in the mental health field and moved back to the Pacific Northwest, one goal I had was to create a specific spot in the new home my husband and I built to write uninterrupted for as long as needed.

It was a challenge because we only had so much money and building costs were rising fast. With help from an architect, we carved out a space above our great room; a loft with a slanted roof and three windows overlooking the forest to let in lots of light. It turned out to be exactly what I had hoped for. Simple, clean lines with a steel railing give it a modern feel. My desk sits in the far corner with the largest of the windows to my left. I often gaze out at the tall trees and the nearby meadow hosting a wide variety of wildlife throughout the year. It’s become not only my sacred place for writing and creating stories but a refuge. Maybe, it’s because the loft is above the house’s main area or that it tends to be quiet, but it has come to be my favorite place. My home within my home. A place I find great comfort in almost every day.

The Loft

It’s a loft. The blinds are closed

to block the morning light so bright

it reflects off the computer screen

and fills the empty spaces. A loft

for writing poems, and stories about

the past, of what-ifs, worlds

without borders, a place to drink

hot tea, ponder new ideas. Quiet

often in this place. A stack of books

thesauruses, files, newspaper clippings

magazine articles, an award. A refuge

from the rain-soaked shambles

of time, the snowdrift cupboards

of fame, fortune. Capturing an old lady’s

laugh when she thinks she might

be young again and walk

in fields of silver and gold.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Gone

Joni Mitchell’s 1970s song Big Yellow Taxi has a famous line I like to repeat to myself, especially when I feel a little melancholy about things… “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘till its gone.” This week those words seem truer to me today than they ever have for it appears many things I have cherished over the years are diminishing.

Last summer, after an extreme bout of hot weather, I wrote a blog post titled Water and how its value seemed to be rising exponentially. I discussed how filled lakes, streams, and aquifers were drying up and how water, once something I took for granted, appeared more precious than ever, especially clean fresh water. It looks as if I could write the same blog, maybe, with an added urgency.

Last winter, I wrote another blog about the importance of my good health if I wanted to continue to enjoy snowshoeing on a beautiful winter morning, planting bulbs in the spring, or going for a long hike on a warm summer day. I ended the blog with a quote from Lagacé: “Life without health is like a river without water.” That quote feels more spot-on this year than last.

Lately, I’ve also had a few instances in which a few friends have been confronted with their mortality – no joke serious illnesses. Their health is in rapid decline. It’s sad to watch their demise. It’s sadder still knowing that there is not much I can do about it.

However, there has been a side-effect to all this gloomy stuff like climate change, a dwindling fresh water supply, sickness, and death. I find myself welcoming all the little things in my life. I mean really appreciating them: the fawn who stayed a while in our lower meadow this morning; a large flock of bluebirds sitting atop the mullein, their azure-blue wings dancing in the sunlight; laughing with other friends, their health intact, at a party last night; the long walk I just came back from, climbing the hills, my breath in tandem with my heart.

It’s probably correct, that I will most likely not know how much abundance is in my life until it is gone, but I can certainly try to do my best to stay healthy, cherish each moment and say I love you more often.

“…mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” A. Schopenhauer

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Curveball

In baseball, a curveball is a type of pitch thrown with a distinctive grip and hand movement that creates a forward spin to the ball, causing it to dive as it approaches home plate. In American slang, the meaning of curveball is when something surprising, disruptive, or unexpected happens. Curveball clichés often include the baseball metaphor, for example: when life throws you a curveball –swing; when life throws you a curveball hit it out of the park; when life throws you a curveball hit the ground running; when life throws you a curveball bend so you can reach it, or when life throws you a curveball you have to bunt the crap out of it. I like all these clichés because to me they mean when things don’t go as planned, I need to get creative.

Yesterday I found out that the hardcover editions of my book, Wandering…a long way past the past, will not be ready to be shipped until weeks after the already scheduled book signing event. The shipment takes ten to fourteen business days which translates to about three additional weeks.

I spent hours making posters and had displayed them at certain locations around town. So, today I added a notice on each of those posters stating: “Due to shipping delays, the book signing has been postponed. New date coming soon!” I also began the rescheduling process at my venue, with family, and friends, as well as, redeveloping social media posts and to-do lists. Not to mention, redesigning and printing new posters.

I’m punting, swinging, and running as fast as I can to correct things: making author connections; washing my whiteboard; putting up a new timeline. Check. Check. Check. Punt. Swing. Run. Trying to stay linked to the writing and local community. Trusting in their support. One step at a time.

It might just be me, but I think life throws enough curveballs that I probably shouldn’t make a big deal out of it because aren’t those curveballs always coming? However, I like to think, at least at my age, I might just be learning how to hit some of them.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is roughly described as distrusting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. This psychological occurrence is more prevalent among high-achieving women, and it is estimated that most people will experience the imposter phenomenon at least once in their lives. Most writers feel like an imposter at some point on their journey and since it is so common, it can almost be viewed as a rite of passage.

I’ve experienced this phenomenon at least a few times since publishing Sylvie in 2021. That silent voice inside of my head, almost shouting “Who do you think you are?”  That voice with the sinister tone questioning whether I am a worthy enough writer, author, or poet.

But I’ve been thinking that, actually, “Who do you think you are?” is a great question I should be asking myself more often because the question tends to keep me awake to the truth, and to the infinite possibilities of my creativity.

Right now, I am a passionate writer anticipating a book signing event next month for my new book, Wandering…a long way past the past. I am also writing my next novel, Maélie. I am a wife, mother, friend, storyteller, and so much more. Like you. Like all of us. Complicated and unique as the billions of stars in our universe.

I’ve come to understand and accept that there will always be someone who will write, compose, tell, or create a story much better than me. There will always be someone who doesn’t like my writings, my books, my poetry, and or my blog. And, of course, the reverse is also true. I will probably go through the imposter phenomenon again after Wandering comes out. However, I’d like to think I might say, “Thank you so much for that question. Who do I think I am?” and answer, “Let me tell you…”

“There is always light.

If only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

                                             ~ Amanda Gorman

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Special Place

Etienne de Gellett once wrote, “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do or show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”  I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately and how true they are.

Recently, I traveled to a beautiful spot I had often visited in my youth, but for all the right reasons, I had not been able to return there until just a few days ago. The snowclad mountains surrounded by ancient glaciers were still there. The old-growth forest had not yet succumbed to wildfire. The access road had improved as well as several new structures at the trailhead. Other than that, it was the same.

I met a few other hikers on my upward climb that took me longer than when I hiked it last. When I arrived at the alpine meadow, covered in cream and pink blooming heather, a few clouds scurried across the towering peaks. A light breeze cooled my face; a sweat and bug spray mix dripped off my chin. I sat cross-legged on the ground and munched on a peanut butter and jam sandwich, contemplating how much I’d lived through in the many years since my last visit.

On the way back to the car, those words from de Gellett kept popping in my head. Although tired, I made an effort to acknowledge the few hikers I met climbing up to my special place. I listened to my son tell his stories. I let the peace of a place seemingly untouched by the chaos of our modern world tiptoe into my heart, knowing full well I might never see that place again and made a promise to worry less, smile more, love life, embrace change, and to the best of my ability, show kindness whenever I can.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved