Hello again campbellsworld visitors and welcome back to the Author’s Corner.
I’ve been having horrendous issues with technology for the past couple of months and now, even though I’ve a wonderful new computer there are still gremlins scampering about and making mischief for me.
Just when I was ready to give up, throw in the towel and go screaming out into the rain I read this wonderful offering by author and good friend Jo E. Pinto and just like that I regained my footing and perspective.
Sometimes when I’m plagued with tech trial after trial, I wonder just why I do this work, but then I read something wonderful like the many talented pieces I share here on all my clients’ behalf and I know.
I encourage you to continue reading once this piece has refreshed your soul because if you do, you’re going to find some great information about Jo and her book.
Thanks for dropping into the Author’s Corner today and do stop back by soon. You just can never tell what might be waiting here for you.
Irises and Ideas
by J. E. Pinto
On a recent spring afternoon, I knelt in the grass with the warm sun shining on my back and a gentle breeze cooling my face. The irises had filled the long flower bed next to my front sidewalk with fleshy new leaves, and the time had come to clear away last year’s brittle, prickly tangle of dead stalks and weeds from among the thriving young plants.
I’ve always been blind, so gardening without looking isn’t new to me. But it means I use my bare hands to distinguish flowers from weeds, healthy leaves from dead ones, and soft fresh soil from dry, hard-packed earth. Usually it’s not a problem, but when I’m pulling out shriveled-up old leaves and stems without gardening gloves, which hamper my sense of touch, my hands can get pretty chewed up. And the noxious weeds called Tribulus terrestris, more commonly known as goat-heads or puncture vines, are living proof of the curse that befell Adam in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:18 declared, “The ground will produce thistles and thorns for you,” and dag nabbit, Adam, all these centuries later I’m still yanking goat-heads out of my flower beds.
As I cleared the dead leaves away from my irises so they could soak up the nourishing spring sunshine, I got to thinking about perennials—and life. Gardening offers us some practical rules to live by.
You’re bound to grab a handful of thorns now and then. It’s inevitable. Get used to the prospect, and don’t clutch anything too tightly till you know for sure what you’ve got in your hands. That way you won’t be surprised by the pokes that sting when they happen and maybe even throb for a day or two, but nothing will slice you too deeply. When you clamp down hard before you have a chance to feel what you’re holding, you end up with wounds that bleed profusely and are slow to heal.
Always use sharp scissors. Hacking away at something with dull blades won’t do any good for you or whatever you’re trying to cut through. Once you make up your mind to clip dead leaves away from your irises, or snip bad habits or toxic issues out of your life, place your scissors as close to the source of the problems as you can and make a few quick, decisive cuts. Get rid of every bit of the debris you can locate. There’s no sense in leaving any of it behind. Sweep it all away and make a clean start.
When you’re ready to remove a weed, dig it out completely. Follow its roots down as deep as you can into the dirt with a gardening shovel, teasing them out with your fingers if you need to, even if the job takes a lot of time and effort. Otherwise, the weed will grow back before you know it and spread like crazy.
If you’re lucky enough to have a child gardening beside you, don’t spend all your time pushing her to get busy. She probably won’t be very productive anyway; she may not even be helpful. But if you listen to her as she sprinkles your new lilies and daisies with the hose, digs for worms, and fluffs up the dirt around your flowers, she’ll tell you fascinating stories about the ants, caterpillars, and bees she finds. Those stories, and the observations she makes about mud and how fairies use it to build houses, and how long it takes water to fill up the drinking holes she’s made for the daisies, and how lilies must be thirstier than daisies because she’s had to water the lilies twice and the daisies only once, are worth much more than any grudging labor you might get from her with incessant nagging.
Don’t sit too long. Get up and stretch, walk around once or twice an hour, and stay hydrated. Of course, you’ll be stiff as a board for a few days even if you follow these protocols. Your legs and rear end and lower back will be sore. Sitting on the ground successfully is for kids and dogs, not grown adults. Plunk yourself down on the warm grass anyway. It’s good for the soul.
Work while the sun shines. It may seem hard to believe, but a blizzard can blow down out of a clear blue sky. It happens regularly in Colorado. Early spring is enchanting, but wind and snow are never far away. The day after I tended my irises, the temperature dropped thirty degrees and a winter storm covered the flowers with a blanket of fluffy wet snow.
Which leads me to the final life lesson.
A little flexibility goes a long way. When spring plays hookey, why complain about it? Put away your gardening tools, get out your fuzzy slippers, make a cup of coffee for yourself and some hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows for your little girl, and settle down to watch a movie or play a board game together. If spring disappears, embrace winter with your whole heart. Spring will return before you know it.
About J. E. Pinto
J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame
for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.
Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works
as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.
The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational
Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place
for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.”
What is a family? Rick Myers is a despondent seventeen-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he’s
grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, “the crew” is all he has.
At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable
intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.
But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future.
Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes
all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.
“The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.
For more details and to buy the book please visit: http://www.amazon.com/author/jepinto