This morning I ventured out to get the morning paper (Yes, I'm one of those dinosaurs who still likes to get her news in print rather than on the web), only to be greeted by Mother Nature's carpeting:
The overnight rains had succeeded in loosing the leaves from their slight tethers and sent them cascading down to turn a dull stretch of driveway into an M. C. Escher print...
Of course, to get this perspective you had to look closely at the scene. What appeared a carpet from far off, became a stunning collection of individuals when viewed up close and personal:
( I have sometimes considered whether my Autumn Glory pullover was brighter than any natural color.)
So, would a leaf rather be part of a magnificent display?
Or be recognized as a stunning individual?
(I know I'm pushing the metaphor here, but if yarn can talk to us, why not leaves?)
Let's switch gears.
Thursday afternoon I got an email from my writing partner Greg. The books were in from the publisher. Three years of hard work was finally paying off. I could pick them up at his office any time during regular business hours.
So Friday, armed with a map from Map Quest, I went in search of his new digs, which I had yet to visit since the move back in July. I knew the area, so I didn't bother with driving directions.
Big, huge, honkin' mistake.
Turns out the directions to get to his office should be, "Head straight to Carmel Drive and take a right on CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE Ave."
Road construction. Closed intersection. No problem, I'll go around.
More road construction. Another closed intersection. I could see it, but I couldn't (all together now...)
GET THERE FROM HERE!
I went back the way I had just come and went looking for the other end of the road Greg's office was on. Smokey Row - shouldn't be too hard to find, right?
Smokey Row doesn't connect with Range Line Rd. But Eighth Ave. does, and Eighth Ave. TURNS INTO Smokey Row. GOSH! Everyone knows that!
Fifteen minutes later, I finally found his office, walked inside, took one look at the book propped up on the reception desk and squealed with delight, "It's here!"
Receptionist looked up with a wry expression and said, "You must be Susan."
(How did she know? Doesn't EVERYONE squeal with delight when they see our book?)
I retired to my car with the box of books and sat with one in my hand. Three years. Endless meetings. Innumerable revisions. Constant prayer.
One book. One small book.
With my name on it.
I bowed my head and said, "Thank you God, for helping me to find my way."
You see, I have been much more lost in my life than I was that rainy Autumn afternoon. I have taken detours that wound over some very rough terrain. Too many pit stops to count. Sometimes scenic overlooks were in short supply. And many times I just plain ran out of gas.
But I kept on going. Even when I had to get out and push.
Because I wasn't alone. Others helped me. They put their shoulders into it and helped me out of the muck and into a bright new day.
So I thank God for the opportunity to, perhaps, apply my shoulder to the task at hand and help someone else get unstuck.
I am happy to be "with Susan Pandorf" rather than "by Susan Pandorf, all by her lonesome."
I do not have to be the brightest leaf in the pile. I am content to be part of the carpet, which God sends down to us, to clothe the world in splendor on this rainy Autumn day.