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Going Deeper

A few birds are singing in my yard and I'm thinking, easy for you to chirp away — have you seen the headlines? My yard is covered with snow from our big storm. I've got work to do to get ready for spring and I don't much feel like it. I had big dreams for my garden this year — I was going to bring in a landscaper and get an arbor built. With the economy, that's not going to happen. For a minute I think nasty thoughts about greedy bankers and how we're all paying for the monumental money mess they've created.  

This is a time when we need to adjust. Work is changing, life is changing. It's a lot like winter — bare branches on bare trees, everyone waiting for the ice to melt. But I like to think that underneath the surface of our lives is a place that is teeming with life and dreams and new beginnings. The biggest trees have the biggest roots. The trees that withstand the fierce winds and storms have roots that plunge deeper under ground. It's easy to look at the world right now and not think much at all about thriving. We're surviving, we're adjusting, we're making do, we're disappointed, we're angry, we're scared. We've never faced something like this before and most of us don't feel ready.

But maybe we are. I try to think back on what I've faced in my life. My dad was an alcoholic — I learned to separate myself from his disease and still love him. I was a waitress — I learned to smile when I was irritated and survive the extreme demands of breakfast rush when I was the only waitress who showed up. My dad died tragically — I learned to keep going. I've moved from place to place, overcame a serious car accident, said no to toxic relationships, dealt with great disappointments, kept believing when I was hopelessly stuck on a writing project, forgave people I never thought I could. I've learned how to live in New York City during and after 9-11. 

You've got your stories, too. We need to remember them and tell them to ourselves and the people around us as we go forward. We've not seen a world like this, that's true. But that could be said of living through the Sixties, or 9-11, or whatever personal tragedies we've faced. The headlines are grim, but we're not wimps. We've got serious roots, and thank God for them. So let's stretch them even deeper and stand strong against the storm. We did it before, we can do it again.

3 responses to “Going Deeper

  1. I liked this piece. Just wanted to say I’m a YA writer and a huge fan. My editor at Putnam sent me PEELED because she knew I liked you (loved it). And I just read STICKS today (snow day!). What a wonderful book. I put a bit about it on my website if you want to read nice things about yourself.
    Joelle Anthony

  2. Hi Joan,
    You may remember me from a few months back–I was the librarian who did a teen book discussion about “Hope was Here” and also hosted a HWH-themed dinner at my house for my friends? 🙂
    I just wanted to let you know that the Palm Beach County Library System staff have compiled their annual Favorite Book lists and your book “Peeled” is on our Young Adults list! This bibliography appears on our website:
    And it is also distributed in print form at all our libraries throughout Palm Beach County.
    Just thought you’d like to know. 🙂
    –Amanda Bosky
    Librarian Trainee
    Wellington Branch Library

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