A WRITING BLOG About Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres and Categories
Writing Leap #30
Writing About Spirituality
Hi Writers and Readers,
Any definition of spirituality is exquisitely personal. The feeling of opening up to something beyond the known.
Writers express the search, the contemplation and the feeling of the infinite through stories. Sometimes commonplace stories about love, the natural world, (do you know Mary Oliver’s poetry?) connection, religious beliefs, the creative spirit. Stories about every aspect of being. Cooking, playing football, singing, dancing, resting.
Some might say that laughter, for example, is sacred.
“At the height of laughter the world is thrown into a kaleidoscope of possibilities,” writer and mystic Jean Houston said.
So pick a topic writers! You have the whole universe to choose from. And beyond.
The Story Line again is
Maybe your Heaven is riding on a shooting star. Or savoring a warm piece of apple crisp. With vanilla ice-cream.
Everything is Magical after Midnight
Maggie and her mom walked along the moonlit beach towards the crackling flames of a small bonfire. Night shadows on the sand dunes cuddled them in together.
Out and about at MIDNIGHT! Maggie felt thrills rippling inside her. She was nine. And old enough, she thought, to be out so late. Gusts of wind that carried salty seaweed smells kept her wide awake. She zipped up her hoodie.
Her mother slipped her arm around Maggie’s shoulder.
“This moon. It dazzles me,” her mother said.
“And the waves crashing. They have a forever sound,” Maggie said.
“Maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of enchanted sea creatures dancing around in the waves,” her mother whispered.
Maggie didn’t know what to expect. Lately she thought her mom was angry with her. Or sad.
“I’m so glad we’re here Mommy,” Maggie said.
“Me too, darling,” her mother said.
It was a Grandmother/Mother/Daughter Full Moon Ritual. Maggie’s first.
Women and children gathered by the bonfire with baskets of food and blankets. Maggie’s mother pulled a golden lovebird necklace out of her beach bag. She handled it gently and laid it on a stone by the fire.
“Grammy Apple’s necklace,” Maggie said. “She’s here, isn’t she Mommy? I mean not really because she’s in Heaven.”
Her mother brushed Maggie’s hair back. “Yes, she’s here.”
A plump woman Maggie knew as Ariana stood up. Her skirt flowed to her ankles. She held a candle and the light flickered on her rosy cheeks.
“Welcome. Welcome.” Ariana smiled at the women and girls seated around the fire in a circle.
“You are all very beautiful in the moonlight.” Small candles in the sand flickered light on everyone’s face.
“This is the Harvest Moon and the closest of all the full moons to the earth,” Ariana said. “We are especially connected to our maternal ancestors this night.”
She stretched her arms up high and looked at the huge butter moon.
“May the strong energy from the Harvest Moon help us to feel very close to our grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters tonight,” she said.
Maggie snuggled closer to her mother.
“Would the grown-ups please each take a lighted candle and then be seated?” Ariana said. “We all have a wish or a dream to give to our daughters. As we go around the circle each mother will give her daughter her thought and then pass the candle on to her. Grandmothers get two candles. Sarah, as a great-grandmother, you get three.”
Maggie barely heard the others while she was waiting for her mother’s turn.
Here it was. Everyone was quiet. A log flared up high and hot. Maggie pulled the hood on her sweatshirt off her head and looked into her mother’s eyes–brown with amber glints. Just like hers.
“With this candle my sweet Maggie, I want to give you two gifts.” Maggie heard her mother’s voice catch.
“I want to give you the gift of yourself. You are deeply loved for who you are and for the artist inside you. You are beautiful.”
Maggie felt her heart burst and tears come to her eyes. Her mother had never said that to her before. Not quite like that.
“And here’s my second gift. Not until this moment and because of you I now see that my own mother, your Grammy Apple, was trying for so long to give me the gift I have just given you. To be proud and happy with myself. Thank you my very special girl.”
She handed Maggie the candle and Maggie put her head on her mother’s shoulder. She felt as if everyone in the circle and beyond were hugging her.
Happy Writing Everyone,
LINKING THE ARTS
A Good Word
Wonder. As in the jostling of our awareness. It’s one of my favorite words and one of my favorite places to be. In a state of wonder.
A Favorite Book
by L. Frank Baum
Dorothy’s spiritual adventure
Cynthia, I love this post. I loved the part of your book that you are sharing. The moment with Maggie and her mom, well that was magical. Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite books and series.
Oh Denise, Thank you. Coming from your huge heart and writerly sensibilities that means a lot to me. Cynthia