She arrived at the door, without a sound, not even a whisper. In my hurried attempts to reckon with the demands of the day, I missed the delivery driver, who like a sparrow dropped my book at the door and flew off, unnoticed.
It was only when I opened the door to leave for the day that I noticed the small package that had been left discretely on the doorstep. Wrapped in hard brown cardboard I picked it up gently, thinking “what is this? Mabel? So soon?”
You see I’d just finished the process days ago of submitting my book to be reviewed and printed, and had not expected the arrival of said package for another week or two. I tore open the package and held my first book in my hands, for the very first time.
It was surreal. I turned the book, my book, over in my hands and checked the pages to see if had the right look and then the moment was gone. And with so many things to check off my list with my new job and activities for the kids, I feel like I haven’t had time to process this feat.
What I did do was put my book in my collection of other books I reach for, and just reading the spine, with my name seemed enough of an acknowledgement that I had indeed won the duel to be a self-published author. And almost without thought and effort, compared to the journey I went on to get my book into an electronic format, my book is here. Printed. Ready to hand to the next person I see.
To use the word triumph is an understatement. I wrestled this book from a tuft of ideas in my head and turned it into a series, first as ebooks and now the adventure begins in printed form. I am elated.
I read a few verses from a poet I love tonight, Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She can say how I’m feeling far better than I, in this poem.
“To Begin with, the sweet grass.”
And I have become the child of the clouds, and of hope.
I have become the friend of the enemy, whoever that is.
I have become older and, cherishing what I have learned, I have become younger. And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know? Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.