Sometimes the path of life stretches in front of me straight and smooth. I know where I’m going and how to get there.
Far more often, though, that path twists and turns. It has stones, even boulders, which seem insurmountable. I stop, worry and wonder. Then I take a leap of faith, and somehow things work out.
“You never know what’s around the corner,” my paternal grandmother used to say. As a glass half-full person, she was optimistic about what the future would bring.
Yet, she lived through the Great Depression, or the ‘Dirty Thirties’ as they’re still remembered on the Canadian prairies, when year after year dust storms blew away crops, food was scarce, and jobs were even scarcer. She also sent a teenage son to war, buried an adult daughter, a husband and a grandchild, and outlived all her nine siblings. Her faith was her bulwark in troubled times, and family her comfort and inspiration.
Although she’s been gone for over twenty years, Grandma’s still one of the people who inspires me, and whose wisdom I draw on when life brings challenges.
This week, I reached another bend in my road. Although I saw it coming, I can’t see what’s beyond that hairpin curve or, at the moment, find the goodness amidst evil.
As a writer, my fictional characters often surprise me. But just when my careful plot crumbles, and I think all is lost, I find a way through. Usually, it’s a better way.
In life and in fiction, I draw on Grandma’s optimism and wise words. I turn to my family and trusted friends. I eat ice cream. Then I pick myself up like she did so many times and keep going.
For as she also said, “there’s a way around every problem if you look hard enough. And maybe the answer has been staring you in the face all along.”
Who or what inspires you when you’re battered by life’s storms?