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

Gratitude Attitude

The ancient Egyptians believed in the magic of the written word–so a cartouche (that rope symbol) around the the hieroglyphs that spell out the name of a king or queen is there as protection from evil-doers who might mess with that name and thus do damage to the person in this world or the next.  We often sound more like ancient Egyptians than we might think–when we talk about what Anna calls Gratitude Attitude, for example.

Beside the Nile, Hathor–a queenly figure with sun and horns on her head–gave the gift of gratitude, and when a farmer dipped his hand in the river, he saw his five fingers and remembered the five things he was most grateful for in life.

Five things?

Family silliness.  The gentleness that comes when we don’t take ourselves too seriously.


dressup035Jesse and AnyaStories.  Being born into a family that has told them and acted them out and passed them on.

spidermenMy own backyard.  Lanie taught me something I had forgotten, a little bit, since that time I was a girl in Ethiopia: how absorbed I could be in plants and dirt and worms and roots.  Today the rain let up and I wandered around and looked at things still green and at bare earth where brown smudgy things I planted last year will knit themselves into daffodils next spring.


Reading.  The deliciousness of it every day.  Getting to see reading ripple on.

photo 4 (2)

Something steadfast in the hardest times.  This month, the brother-in-law that I’ve known ever since high school–because his father was a doctor in Ethiopia and thus Mark was a teenager when and where I was–is quite suddenly gone.  In the melancholy, though, the tenderness of family and conversation and words and connection shapes a hammock of light.


01378Someone remembers you.  Someone was there from the beginning.  Someone knows.


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