The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

From snow to a schmear of flowers

I don’t know where we were on our journey when Leonard pointed out we’d been up–and traveling–27 hours.  No matter how blurry and bleary you feel, it just doesn’t do to count the hours.  But although I landed at my Philippine destination with morning and an author visit less than half a night away, I woke to this.

The third graders wrote that rainy season smells like pigs and frogs and sounds like giant rocks bumping each other in the sky.

The fog is like a smoky fire.

The lightning goes Blink Blink Bzzzzzzz.

When you stick your tongue out, the rain tastes like dirt.

Wild pigs and snakes walk on the slippery roads.

Kids have to stay home, captured by the apartment or house all day long.

The owl crying outside sounds like a baby crying.

One of the administrators at the school used to teach in Ethiopia.  She said rainy season here isn’t like in Ethiopia, where water dumps out of the sky and then the sun floods everything with light and warmth.  In both places, the booming mess of water eventually makes the world look like this.

Last night, I fell asleep to the fluttery call of some bird and woke up thinking about taking a walk…about Lanie’s drive to get herself outside…about how the senses all wake up when I slow down, notice details, pay attention.

As some author said in an interview, I’m a better person when I’m writing.

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