Monday, June 6, 2016

Bittersweetness and Big News

Olivia on the jumbotron
My daughter graduated from high school last weekend. HAPPY! In less than a month she'll go to college seven hours away.  sad. Chris and I are excited for her future. HAPPY! We will miss her terribly.  sad.
A family of cardinals who visits our birdfeeder seem to be going through something similar. Not long ago we watched from the kitchen window as the bright red daddy cardinal fed his brown baby girl one seed at a time, fussing at her as she wobbled on matchstick legs. Today I notice she's already on her own. She's swoops in and makes a smooth landing on the feeder, her bright orange beak flashing as she takes a seed. In the blink of an eye she's gone again, leaving me thinking of my Olivia and wondering how to live with this bittersweetness.
Friend and fellow writer Diane Skelton's excellent advice was to focus on the sweet, not the bitter, the excitement of this stage in life, not the heartache. With that in mind, I'm grateful to have my soon-to-be-published book to keep me busy. The manuscript has made it though content editing and is now in the queue for cover design and line editing. And I have big news! It's been decided that my title will remain The Existence of Pity. I remember the shiver of recognition that came over me when I thought of it five and a half years ago. I knew that title would be right and I still feel the same. Not everything has to change!
I look to our backyard in time to see the daddy cardinal land on the fence. He watches his baby, who is snacking at the feeder again. After a while she hops over to perch beside him, and they sit together. Then, in the blink of an eye, she spreads her beautiful wings, lifts off, and flies away.