One summer long ago, we took our girls to see their grandparents in Southern California. We drove down the Coast Highway from Washington to see the dynamic ocean views and stopped in Pacific Grove on Monterey Bay to spend the night. After checking into our suite at a bed and breakfast, we went for a walk around town to look at the charming bayside cottages. We stopped at one cottage to admire a row of polished geodes displayed in the windows. The old woman who lived in it noticed us standing on the sidewalk and invited us in to see the rest of her collection. Little did we know what a treat was in store for us. She had an extensive collection of geodes, rocks and fossils stuffed into her small home and a wealth of knowledge to share. We took turns sitting in her chair of petrified wood as she shared her stories with us. She had traveled the world to find her treasures and had been to shows all over the country displaying them.
Even though her collection of fossils and rocks was incredible, I was even more impressed by the strength of the old woman's passion and her eagerness to share it with others. I would like to have known her better.
I am not someone who wants to escape ageing or cheat death. On most days, I am fine with the natural order of things. I aim to go gently into that good night and have no wish to rage against the dying of the light. But as I enter this last quarter of my life, I also intend to resist the temptations of passivity. As this body of mine begins to wither on the vine, the spirit within is still ripe and full of juice. So I write. Squeeze the spirit to let the juice out. Labor to distill the juice into something fruitful and fine.
I think it has been plain since my first blog post three years ago that stories are my passion, my rocks and fossils, and I am eager to share them here and elsewhere. More than likely, at this stage of my life, it will only be the occasional passerby who will stop on the sidewalk to peer in my window, but my passion for writing is not diminished by the lack of an audience. Indeed, I feel more compelled to write stories now than ever before, and if it turns out to be nothing more than whistling in the wind, as long as I am still able to string a coherent collection of words together and read them on a page, I will have been buoyed by the passion and joy of it.