(First appeared in Orlando Sentinel November 23, 2009)
Thank you … two little words I don't say as often as I should. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, I'm devoting today's column to words of appreciation. I'm addressing you, my reader, to thank you for being there, to thank you for listening.
I've always been a person who writes. From childhood on, my most comfortable means of expressing thoughts, feelings and observations has been the written word. I grew up in a picturesque setting in Pennsylvania that primed the pump of my imagination. The poems and essays that flowed from the wellspring of my youth were filled with ponderings and pronouncements inspired by the world at my doorstep.
Although I left Yardley years ago, I never outgrew my love of nature. The wonders of the world around me still fill me with awe. Over the years, I've poured out my feelings through stories, songs, poems and essays. For the past three years, I've been grateful to have a vehicle — my column — to share my thoughts and observations with you.
I am especially grateful to everyone who has supported my efforts. So many people have taken the time to send e-mails or to call and share personal experiences that often mirrored the subjects of my writing. Occasionally you have asked me to speak to groups, and at those times I've been able to meet you in person. As a writer who works from home, I find such meetings to be a rare delight with special meaning.
Recently, I published my first book, Rowing Through The Mist: The Everyday Pleasures of Simply Living. This 164-page collection of 42 essays and 43 photographs focuses on the things I know and love best —nature, family life and the changing seasons. Although publishing a book has been a lifelong goal, I plan for this book to be the first of many. My mind overflows with thoughts and ideas. There are many more words waiting to be written, printed and shared.
In these difficult economic times, when so many people are hurting financially and emotionally, it is especially important to remember the goodness. From birdsongs to sunsets and everything in between, we live in a world surrounded by beauty. Even in the darkest of nights, there are shooting stars to brighten our outlook, spark our imagination and encourage our wonder.
For me, the magic lies not in the blatant glare of the latest techno-toy but in the everyday treasures we tend to overlook. I see it as my job — and what a wonderful job it is — to focus attention on those simple pleasures, the little things in life that help us regain our perspective and improve our mood.
Because of you, my reader, I am encouraged to continue finding ways to express that magic. Your response to my writing has been a most generous gift, and it's now my turn to return the favor. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to expressing appreciation, I offer my most heartfelt thanks. Without readers, a writer is a silent voice. You give me the means to make myself heard, and for that I am humbly and most sincerely grateful.