Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What To Do With Windfalls

sometimes whirlwinds blow in
intrude on those carefully crafted goals
send sacred mud
in spades 
and shovels

do i sigh and grumble over my lost tasks? 
truthfully? too often. 

but when i'm paying attention, 
i stop and look at my happy wildebeests, 
soak them up with my eyes
douse them with kisses

and then we go play in leaves 

gather up our thankfulness by the armful

press them flat in big books
mound them in bowls 

wear them as necklaces

string them in garlands

and leaf chandeliers

a reminder 
that life is fleeting

and we have so much
to be thankful for

What do you do with unexpected windfalls?

Or maybe that should be, how do you deal with interruptions?

Or, for my writer friends: what is the secret to finding time to write while taking care of your brood?

I'd love your tips!

My latest happy book drool from the library:

The Dog Who Belonged to No One by Amy Hest, illustrated by Amy Bates  is book that needs to be in my collection permanently. 
The story is heart-warming and sweet, the overall design perfect - a kind of sepia tone to the pages, with a sort of silent movie style to it. And the pictures! Oh! I am smitten with Amy Bates' work. She captures the characters' essence beautifully.  
Another book that you simply must see!

from The Dog Who Belonged to No One
illustration by Amy Bates

from The Dog Who Belonged to No One, illustration by Amy Bates


Kate Higgins said...

It's nice to know that someone is up as early as I am. I love windfalls...all kinds. And I loved your post. And my brood, although mostly grown are my interruptions, my anchor to reality and my inspiration.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family...and stay dry!

Faith E. Hough said...

Aw, this was wonderful! My husband gave me some great mothering/writing advice on a hard day: "Remember that sometimes interruptions are God taking control...if you let him, things will work out better."
And how can you write about life without living it to the fullest?
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh, the art in that book is fabulous! There's nothing as magical as a great picture book--except maybe your house of leaf chandeliers. The way you incorporate the seasons/nature into your children's lives awes me.

Jan Morrison said...

Another wondrous post - it is snowing like the dickens up here in the North - and I like to imagine you'd have your brood out quickly making snow angels. I'm puttering about having an unexpected snow day. Maybe I'll work on my book!
I love the look of that book - especially the wee girl on the bike. I'll be looking for this one. My brood of grandkids is a bit old for picture books but nah, not!

Richard Jesse Watson said...
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Richard Jesse Watson said...

I love this post, Faithy. As I was reading your breezy words, a window blew open in my strato-cerebrum and a thought skimmered along the gust settling on the dusty attic floor. Could leaves be angels flattened by time? Gone crispy because their visas have expired?

Faith Pray said...

Hello Kate! Early and awake.. barely! I hope your Thanksgiving is dry and warm, and that your little grand baby is somewhere close by!

Faith, I love that advice. It's always difficult for me to jive with interruptions at first, but you're right, if we let go, it does turn out better. My latest interruption? Exploding glitter glue. My kids started laughing - it was pretty hilarious, so I started laughing, and I have to say that the horrendous clean-up wasn't so horrendous after all.

Faith Pray said...

Tricia, I wish I could have posted the entire book. It really is fab!

Jan, we are all rubbing our hands together down here hoping for some good snows this winter. I hope your snow day is well-enjoyed, or at least that your book is happy because of it.

Dad, I can honestly say I've never thought of flattened angels! Wow! You really got a good gust on that one. I can almost see the picture book that springs from it. The Book of Preserved Angels. Yow.

ruthie said...

Oh such lovely words Faith, "gather up our thankfulness by the armful", delicious. When my 3 were wee they loved to bury themselves in the autumn loveliness of leaves & burst out like a shower of fireworks, colours blazing in the afternoon sun. Happy memories.

Richard - flattened angels, hmm, pictures conjured lol, i shall keep an eye open for angel shapes here and there on my next walk ;-)

joanne May said...
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joanne May said...

This is a lovely post with autumn photos. Your children have made beautiful things out of the leaves. The leaf necklace and chandelier are perfect. Such precious moments with little ones.

The book looks great. I must add that one my collection too. Thank you for sharing!

Dawn Simon said...

Such a beautiful post! The words, the photos--all of it. You always have such a great outlook! I have no tips to offer. I love that you're embracing the time with your family.

I haven't seen THE DOG WHO BELONGED TO NO ONE. I'll have to check it out!

Vijaya said...

I keep coming back to visit your blog often and this time I just cannot stay silent. You are such a wonderful mother, writer and artist, and I take inspiration from you.

The other Faith gives good advice. I always find that giving into the interruptions is what has made my life richer, so that I can write about it. All my early stories (magazines stuff) are about the daily activities I did with my children.

God bless.

Jessica Nelson said...

Those are awesome pics! I've never thought of doing that with leaves with my kids. Very creative. :-)

Faith Pray said...

Ruthie, I remember burying myself in heaps of leaves as a kid. Why don't I do it as an adult? I need to get past my dirt/buggy phobias and become more childlike, more leaf-happy.

Joanne, thank you for stopping in!

Faith Pray said...

Dawn and Jessica, thank you for the happy words!

Vijaya, I love hearing about how letting the interruptions happen inspired your early work. Thank you for your kind comments!

ruthie said...

Faith, i think it would do us all some good if we could remember to play too x Enjoy x Im off to decorate soome gingerbread christmas trees ;-) x


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