I am writing this on Tuesday evening, in a cozy little room at the Montrose Retreat Center. A storm passed over us, driving rain against the windows, pinging on the window air conditioning unit. But the clouds have cleared in time to make room for the setting rays of sun. The birds sing in the dusk.
I am sitting in an armchair in my room, feeling very, very content. Today my latest novel released into the world. And somehow I have not felt the normal stress or pressure that comes on release day, the ridiculously high expectations, or the creeping disappointment if certain things do not happen. I feel only an intense gratefulness for this life. This book. For you, the folks who read what I write. For Maile. My children.
How have I been so blessed?
For the first time in a long time, I care very little what anyone else things of this book. I wrote it how I saw it, put in the effort to tell it clearly, and now here it is. Take it or leave it. It was the absolute best book I could write at the time. There’s something to be said for wrestling with the work, doing it well, and then releasing it into the world. I suppose it’s much like raising children, or farming, or any other thing in life we might care about.
There is also much to be said for gratefulness. It seems that enough of it can crowd out just about anything else – jealousy or fear or anxiety about results.
The last few lines of Psalm 90 from Eugene Peterson’s The Message have been resonating with me quite a bit lately:
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!
So, thank you. Thank you all for walking this journey with me again. It is not lost on me, the amount of time you take to read the words I write. Hopefully, there will be many more, and we can journey together for another few thousand pages.