July 4, 2015
TODAY I am celebrating… the 4th of July, the day of our nation’s independence. As for many Americans , for me and my family this day has become a reason for a three-day weekend, an opportunity for a hot dog and hamburger barbecue with friends and/or family, and a chance to see an evening fireworks display. After reading the morning paper about how members of ISIS are destroying even more ancient artifacts in Palmyra, Syria, I am celebrating the fact that I do not live in a country overtaken by religious zealots. I am celebrating our constitution which was written to maintain a balance in our government and our daily lives. I am celebrating our relative peace and prosperity.
TODAY I am celebrating…the fact that I am still alive. At about this time last year I had just retired from teaching and was looking forward to enjoying the “golden years” when I was suddenly overtaken by a 4th stage cancer with the odds definitely not in my favor. Seven months later I was declared cancer free, and I now consider myself a cancer survivor…one of the very lucky ones.
TODAY I am celebrating the beginning of summer; I have so much I hope to accomplish. On Monday I will begin to participate in a two-week workshop for teachers of writing with one of my favorite groups…the Long IslandWriting Project. I have been affiliated with them for over thirty years and still think they serve a very important function in this mostly technological world. I celebrate their wisdom, their perseverance and their mission to create a safe haven for all writers.
TODAY I am celebrating that, thanks to this website, I have become an avid blogger. Participating for the first time this year in the March Slice of Life challenge, I overcame my depression from having cancer and could not wait to get up each day and read what everyone had to say. Becoming a weekly blogger has introduced a very welcome discipline in my life which…dare I say it…is therapeutic and good practice for a would-be writer.
TODAY I am celebrating that I have taken some baby steps toward beginning to write a book I have been thinking about for a while. I have joined an online writing community which will require me to post new writing once a week, and like Slice of Life, will provide me with some feedback on a weekly basis. My long-term goal for now is to produce a first draft this year. My immediate goal is to produce new writing each week. Without the encouragement of the community of writers at TWT, I don’t think I would ever have taken this first step.
TODAY I am celebrating the flowers in my garden, the clear blue sky overhead, the zero-gravity chair I am sitting on while writing this in my backyard, the time I’ve been given to pursue one of my passions, and the communities I’ve become part of that will be my support in the months to come.