Sit Still Long Enough and Maybe Something Wondrous Will Find You

Let this be a lesson to me.

Buck and I went down the mountain yesterday for lunch at a delightful Maggie Valley spot called the Nutmeg Bakery Cafe. More on that in another post. An impressive thunder and rain storm rattled the windows shortly before we left. Bright sun turned the wet road to curling steam. I watched mountain laurel and rhododendron buds time-lapsing before my eyes into delicate, multi-chambered pink and white blooms.

When we returned to the cottage two hours later, tummies full and a bag of ragged ripe South Carolina peaches in tow, the power was out thanks to a tree that fell after the storm. No TV. No computer. We called the property manager to report, and then decamped to the porch. I’ve been troubled by the original ending I’ve had sketched in for the novel I’m (still) working on, so I decided to sit, rock, and pull back the camera lens of my mind to focus on the larger picture of what this woman is really all about.

Sometimes an “Aha!” moment is more of a “Yes!” It happened, sitting out there with Buck quiet, hip-deep in a lengthy, small print doom and gloom economic analysis. Just a girl and her legal pad.

A few minutes later, I kid you not, a shimmering rainbow appeared. Yeah, yeah, I know the atmospheric conditions decreed that a rainbow would appear when and where it did. I don’t care. I consider it my own personal Rainbow Moment and declare that it sent me a message that I’m finally on the right track with my story.

The power came on after a while, but apparently the television cable was dragged down along with the power lines when the tree fell, so there was still no internet or television. Funny about the TV thing. We don’t actually watch very much, although we’re stock market and news junkies, so the background drone of CNBC tends to be on, at least during the trading day. But TV is a presence, and when it won’t deliver pictures on command, things feel a little “off.” Silly, but there you go.

We made scrambled eggs and toast and headed for the porch again to enjoy a sunset supper. I sipped from a mug of Tazo Zen green tea. We had finished our feast, when Buck spoke to me very quietly: “Move slowly, but get your camera and turn to the right. Bear.”

Two tiny cubs were just out of camera range. Mother Bear approached the porch, leaned snout-first toward us for a long moment, then slowly turned and retreated back into the woods. Much as I wanted a picture of those cubs, I stayed put right there on the porch. Buck and I looked at each other and grinned. Did you know that WOW is an acronym for Wonder of Wonders?

p.s. There’s still no cable service, but I rigged up my cell phone to deliver a little internet so I could post this!

18 thoughts on “Sit Still Long Enough and Maybe Something Wondrous Will Find You

  1. What a great narrative of discovery, Beth. I love how you convey your inner world, that writing problem, while noting the external world—the storm, the blooms, the rainbow, the bears!—that insistently beckons to you and sends messages . . .


  2. You take ownership in your writing, Beth. Love how you exercise that first ammendment – crazy things happen, and yes, so often, truth is stranger in fiction. Don’t know if you’re a Christian, but seems to me that God is boosting you along here, blessing you with some beautiful (and undeniable) “Aha” moments. Must feel so good to sense you’re on the right track with that novel!


    1. That “still small voice” is another one of God’s great gifts to us. Just have to remember sometimes to lower my own voice enough to listen.


    1. Buck is an old hunter, and totally cool and seemingly unsurprised when wildlife shows up in any scene. He kind of goes into a Zen state! Personally, I was just in a state of shock.


  3. “Bright sun turned the wet road to curling steam.”
    Great line!

    I stumbled onto your site from Richard Gilbert’s Narrative. At first I thought, oh boy, here comes another homey diary, an adult, country version of show-and-tell. And then I started reading. What a simple but warm and luminous account of everyday life. Without getting all Catholic here(which could be a stretch for an agnostic Jew like myself), you seem to find the sacramental quality of everything you describe. And there’s a brimming sense of gratitude, also.


    1. Stuart ,
      You were most likely at least 85% correct in your initial impression. Thanks for continuing to read and finding, perhaps, another layer or two. Your kind words move and encourage me.


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