Every once in awhile, we all have a day, a week, a month, where the dark clouds circling above our heads, come crashing down, the heavy weight buckling our knees and leaving us gasping for breath.

That dark cloud holds something different for everyone; whether it be doubts, fears, hopelessness, or helplessness, it has the power to consume you, leaving you in a dark place inside your head. It can leave you wondering if everything you do is worth the time and effort. It can have you ready to chuck it all over the cliff to come crashing into a million little pieces on the ground below. It can have you feeling like jumping in your car and driving away for parts unknown. It can also leave you asking yourself if walked away, if your absence would be noticed.

So consumed with these thoughts, you can lose sight that those around you are juggling balls of their own, fighting to keep their own dark clouds from crashing down around their shoulders.

There is always a light shining, cutting through the darkness to lead you out of the abyss, if you take a breath and look for it. It’s the warmth of a smile from a stranger that says “I see you and find you worthy.” It’s the feel of a child’s arms wrapping around your neck, bringing tears to your eyes at the unconditional love so freely and joyfully given. It’s the friend sitting shoulder to shoulder with you in utter quietness, lending you their support. It’s that brief glance at someone else’s troubles and acknowledging that maybe you don’t have it so bad. It doesn’t sweep away your cloud, but it can change your perspective…and sometimes, a change of perspective is the hand you need to help you gain your footing and allows you to take a much needed deep breath.

Stay in the dark, or reach for the light? A choice we’re all faced with from time to time. It can be easier to let the dark consume us, but the light is so much more rewarding. This week, after days in the dark, I’ve chosen the light.

On the days when you find your dark cloud crashing around you, sucking the breath out of you, I hope you remember to look for the light. Most times it’s within ourselves, other times we need the light if others to lead the way.

Love & Light

Plotting plotting plotting

I don’t know how writers do it. I’ve signed up for this NaNo challenge, and though I can see my main character getting to the place I need her to be, I haven’t got a clue as to what to do once she’s there. I sit looking at the screen of my laptop and think that this story is too big for this challenge, that I need to do so much more research than the allotted time allows for, that I need to do a different story; but no! This is the story yelling to be told, and tell it I will. (Insert eye roll here) like its giving me a choice. That is one thing I have learned so far. Once a story plants it’s roots in your brain, there’s no walking away from it until it reaches full bloom. It may go into stasis. It may even let you put it on the back burner for a while so you can work on other stuff, but it never leaves you. It’s a ticking time bomb waiting for you to light the fuse. Maybe, I’m not suppose to see where it leads. Maybe that’s part of the journey. It’s an adventure, after all.

Love & Light

Me? A writer?

A couple of days ago, a very good friend shared that they were going to participate in the NaNo challenge. The goal is to write a novel in 30 days, at least 50,000 words….1,6-something words a day! It sounded exciting and challenging, and maybe just the push I needed to put these random thoughts and scenarios down on paper, or screen as the case may be. 50,000 words, from where I stand right now, seems like a mountain. Insurmountable? No…but it’s not going to be a walk in the park either. Can I keep my focus long enough to see it through to the end? I sure as heck hope so. I have a great support team to cheer me on. I don’t climb this mountain alone, and for that….I’m extremely thankful.

Love & Light


Yesterday, child in tow, I drove to the home of the couple I lovingly refer to as my parental units. Driving past a middle school, I looked over and saw two students taking down the American and state flags. The other students milled around or were hurrying on their way home.

It’s amazing at times what memories rush, unbidden, to the forefront of your mind. Taking you back to a time you may have thought was long forgotten, or at the very least, not one that you would spend any time recalling. This was one of those memories.

I went to grade school in a military base. A Marine Corps base, to be precise. The raising and lowering of the flag was always done with great respect. As a sixth grader, I was chosen to be one of the few safety patrols guards. In other words, a glorified crossing guard, but we took our positions very seriously. It was a big deal to be chosen and presented with that white nylon safety patrol belt with its shiny silver colored badge.

We were not only responsible for making sure that no students crossed the streets before it was safe, corner crossing only….no jaywalking allowed…..we made sure that each grade lined up at the various school doors in an orderly fashion, decided which lines got to enter the school first…according to how straight and quiet they were…and made sure that before and after school, there was no running on school property sidewalks.

Our most sacred duty though, and one we all vied to be picked for, was flag duty. Two safety patrol guards were picked every couple of weeks for this honor. We were responsible for unfolding and raising the American and the state flag in the morning. After school, we lowered and folded these flags, making sure they were in perfect triangles when we were done. This was done with respect shown by everyone. If you were outside, and that whistle blew, you did not move. You did not talk. Either of those offenses done during either flag ceremony was a reportable offense, if caught by any of the safety patrol guards. For those two brief moments out if our school day, we paid attention and respect to something so much bigger than us, though admittedly, we were not necessarily aware that was what we were doing.

Which brings me back to the present, and small wave of wistfulness washes over me, when I realize that so many things that had meaning when I was growing up have lost their significance, but maybe that is the way of things, and a by-product of time marching on.