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It’s strange how life and inspiration are intrinsically tied together in my world. There are moments where I’m in the Zone, and the world is full of metaphors, and song titles are as plentiful as leaves on a tree. And then, life shuts off the sunlight for a while, and I’m in the dark until something triggers dawn in my head, and I’m able to work again.

I had this experience brought home to me this summer. I was standing in our kitchen. All around me, delicious metaphors and similes simmered. The tea kettle was screaming for attention, the dog was curled up like a comma on the wooden floor. Outside the window, rain ping ponged off the roof of our car, and I felt the tendrils of a sturdy and healthy melody in my ears. It was good to be a writer that day, and my fingers itched for the keyboard of my computer. It was going to be thrilling to see what fun stuff my Muse would be throwing my way.

Then, life kinda crashed the party. Outside of the regular drama that goes along with being a mom and daughter and dog owner, (i.e. the kids needed to be packed up and trundled off to camp, my mother had to have two eye operation/procedures, and our dog stepped on broken glass requiring stitches), two good friends of mine had events happen in their lives that would change them forever. In the first case, a good friend who was adopting twins via surrogate suddenly found himself a father to two pre-mature babies born four months before their due date. Then, another dear friend had a tragic accident falling off a roof and is coming to terms with a life of wheelchairs and handicap access. All these events happened quickly and brutally, and my yearning to write and find inspiration seemed insipid and selfish. These two events have preoccupied me, and I think I am looking at the world from a different, certainly more grateful place that before. It has made me want to hug my children closer to me, and appreciate insignificant things, like the feel of grass under my feet. It has also moved me in creative ways. While I’ve spent most of the end of this summer in a state of perpetual worry and silent prayer for my two dear friends, I’ve also come to understand that just when we think life is under our control, it slips through the escape-proof fences we build around it and runs amock through the neighborhood, tearing up trees and flooding the world much like a Hurricane. And while my first instinct is to hide, clutching my battery operated flashlight, I can’t live like that. And neither have my two friends. They and their families have responded to these events with a bravery, honesty, and faith which can only be described as inspirational. These people are heroes to me, and I am lucky to call them friends.

Enjoy life. Love your friends. Appreciate every moment.