Empty Nest

Last year in May, I travelled to Baltimore for the annual meeting of Interfaith Ministers. It was a lovely event. There were some new faces and some well known. The highlight of the event is, to me, the simple grace of the ordination of the new ministers. As one of the first from AIHT. I will always have a special place in my heart for that experience. There were many more parts of the weekend which were as enjoyable. Just being at a new venue and staying at a delightful hotel added to the overall memories . Best of all, I was able to spend some time with my friend, who picked me up in New York and drove both of us to Baltimore.
As I have learned over the years, road trips are great opportunities to chat and get to know someone better, even a good friend. Spending hours in the confines of a car, while being watchful of the dangers of the road, the possibilities of getting lost and the need to find a timely washroom, inevitably brings two people closer together. You don’t always have to be talking but you do have to communicate.
When I started out on that journey, I was not writing any particular story but the long drive gave rise to a need to continue with another instalment in my Beauty and the Beast (Fanfiction) series. I had no shortage of ideas but I can’t write without a lead in title. I suppose every author has something which triggers their thought process. For me, a few words can convey a whole range of ideas.
In the car, during a long forgotten discussion, my friend said, ‘I suppose that is just a slight variation of normal’. I was hooked. Slight Variations of Normal was born and the story flowed from there. Sometimes the flow was slowed by internal power outages but living life fully always provides a clue to the heart of the next chapter. Sometimes it is in a dream, sometimes in a conversation with a total stranger, sometimes in personal experiences which touched the heart and soul.
So I am always grateful to the people who move in and out of my life and share their stories. I am also grateful to the those who have crossed over for sending their stories through my dreams. I hear you and hope that I have done justice to your struggles and triumphs.
It is now a year later. Slight Variations of Normal is complete. Like any creation which originates in our soul, I am euphoric to see the final product. It is my longest story to date. I am also saddened that something which had occupied so much of my time is now gone. It’s like saying goodbye to a child heading off to college or to get married. Empty nest again.