A little over three weeks ago, I officially gave birth to the first of five books, Milo and the Wisdom of the Sea. Like so many creators before me, the act of finally seeing my creation in physical form knocked the wind out of me. To an outsider, I may have been holding an ordinary book in my hands. But to me, and those who know the intricacies of the story of Milo and how he came to be, I was holding a promise. The promise is simple really: to help other little and big humans reach for joy and hope even when life’s storms have brought pain, grief, fear, and uncertainty. And yet how I got to that exact moment of holding Milo in my hands, well, that dear ones, was anything but simple. Isn’t it always this way? The hardships we endure to be of service to the world aren’t glamourous. They are bloody and painful just like all good hero’s journeys are.
When I unwrapped the book, I was sitting at my desk alone. I’d just finished sending out an email at my ‘real’ job. At the unwrapping of the book, there were no bottles of champagne popping or fireworks going off. No crowds cheering or an inspirational song playing. Cue Whitney Houston’s “One Moment in Time”. Yes, I do have quite the vivid imagination. In that instant though (despite imagining the loud boom of fireworks going off) there were instead five small black and red birds chirping as the early summer rain fell in small drips on the grass. Of course, I’d alerted those dearest to me about it and had done the social media notifications. But a huge victory such as this one was met with a quiet celebration. And as I sat savoring the book in my hands, it struck me, that so much of life's victories are celebrated quietly by one roaring cheerleader. And that so many of these moments happen when we least expect them and haven't had time to rally our loved ones.
It’s also true, that as I get older I realize that celebrating means drinking a cup of tea, lighting fragrant candles, listening to the wind and the rain and quietly tuning in. It no longer means drinking alcohol, or dancing the night away, or the various other things it meant when I was younger and looking to escape from reality or myself.
And now, in just a few short weeks, I will also be celebrating the sale of Milo and the Wisdom of the Sea at Flashlight Books in Walnut Creek. I’m awaiting the shipment of books and to sign the consignment agreement with them. But, still. This is huge for me! Another dream come true and at this very moment it's the birds I hear again. Thanks goodness for them. They remind me that flying really is possible. And if you can see me right now. I really do feel like I’m flying.
Happy July 4th everyone and I hope you are having your own huge victories right now! If you'd care to share, please comment below. I'd be happy to celebrate with you.