In early summer of 2001, Eldest Son gave me a fabric CD holder inscribed with the name of his high school and date of his graduation. Ideal for holding CDs for my car, when I opened it, I noticed there was already one CD inside.
My son had made it for me on the computer from a list of songs I had given him ages before (and forgotten about), writing the words ‘Mom’s Mix’ on the front in black, permanent marker. He was due to leave for college that autumn and I struggled to hold the tears back when he handed his gift to me as a surprise.
That summer, while George Bush and Tony Blair held hands and the Twin Towers stood tall, I moved with my family into our ‘dream home’ in California. But as world events barrelled towards disasters we could not dare to believe, troubles of my own escalated in my tiny corner of the planet.
Crazy Grandma (my back then mother-in-law) had given me a Sony CD Walkman for my birthday the year before (it was yellow and black, with anti-skip and everything and I loved it). ‘Mom’s Mix’ became my go-to CD for my early morning walks. Pounding the neighbourhood streets lost in music helped me cope physically and mentally, a surprise all of its own.
But with the passage of time comes healing and the unexpected; today, my son and his brother live and work (and walk!) in England by the sea, and I no longer walk just to cope.
But I do walk for many reasons, not least of all for the exercise: sitting down at a laptop all day writing is not good for physical health. Walking is also great therapy; I’ve made more decisions and written more words putting one foot in front of the other than at any other time. And I always listen to music while doing so.
If I’m stuck when writing and can’t get the words to flow, I’ll plug-in my iPod’s earphones (sadly, my Walkman didn’t last forever) and head out to the park to walk a few circuits, a process which never fails to get those creative juices flowing. But when I sit down to write back home, I do so in silence.
In fact, it was while out walking many years ago pushing Eldest Son in his stroller as I did every afternoon, rain or shine, that I first ‘knew’ I wanted to write, and maybe even one-day, write a book. Only time would tell…
And it was over thirty years later, while walking with hubby high above the Devon coastline last September, elated at having finished the first draft of my memoir, that its title, at last, found me.
Such moments of clarity are rare, but we don’t forget them because they remind us of the brevity of life, of where we stand in our world today and of where we hope to go tomorrow.
When we quiten the noise in our heads and let the whispers of our hearts ring true, we are renewed, empowered, and we are never the same again
‘In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that explores the question, “What good is power?” Is it a story of empowerment, or a story of a dictator? Poke around power and go where the force takes you this week.’
My thoughts on power are of the kind that see us through tumultuous times, of the ability to forgive and forge ahead to find our way as we walk along the path of our calling and most of all, to love and be loved.
Here’s my flash, in 99 words no more, no less ~
The faster Joan walked, the more enraged her thoughts. All day long, there he sits, like a useless lump in front of the TV, saying nothing, doing nothing…I can’t take much more.
An hour later and almost home, she softened as worry replaced anger. What if he needs a doctor? What if he needs help?
The smell of coffee greeted her.
He never made coffee, or tea or…
“I booked that walking holiday,” he smiled as he handed her a mug of fresh coffee.
“I know, I wanted to surprise you, been doing a lot of thinking…”
This post is also written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Time’.