Friday, August 4, 2017
Michael Custis Washington is a young black slave living on a cotton plantation in the Province of Virginia. He was born in 1802. Left an orphan at the age of five he is taken into the big house by his master, Alfred Gordon, to be trained as a house servant. While in this house he suffers severe emotional and sexual abuse. When he finally runs away with his wife Lucinda he is helped by the Quakers. Through the Underground Railway they reach the Elgin Settlement in Ontario, Canada. Freedom is his at last. But when the American Civil War breaks out in 1861 Michael chooses to join the Union Army. He works his way back to Virginia. Is he seeking justice or vengeance?
Writing When God Gives Us Spring was a wonderful experience. Michael Curtis Washington endures more pain and suffering throughout his life than most of us could ever handle, yet handle it he does, and in the process he never loses his ability to love nor his sensitivity to the needs of his wife who adores him.
To date I have written and have had published many books. If anyone ever asked me which is my favourite I would struggle to answer but I would, indeed, have to say that this book is one of my favourites.
And what I have learned since the writing of this book is that When God Gives us anything, He/She is giving us opportunity to learn, to grow, to broaden our vision, to strengthen our faith, and to share the love that sometimes hides, but that is always there within us, just waiting to be called upon to serve.
Recently, in my own life, I have sometimes felt the urge to believe that nothing is going right; nothing is going the way I had planned; and nothing is the way I want it to be.
I allow myself to visit this dark place but within a very short time my good friend, Faith, steps up to the plate and says, okay, that's enough. You can stay here and wallow in the darkness or you can take the hand I am extending to you and come with me back into the light; back to where you belong; back to where you can continue to grow, to learn, and to love.
I choose to take the hand of Faith. I feel grateful for the inner strength she reminds me that I possess.
I remind myself that When God Gives me anything; however I may perceive it because I may judge it to be good, bad, irrelevant, or important; I need only be accepting. Acceptance is not always easy but it is rewarding.
I am also reminded of an equation taught to me by an instructor years ago when I was a student in the Transformational Arts College in Toronto. That equation is, 'Awareness, plus acceptance, plus action equals change'.
For me, the 'acceptance' part of the equation is the challenging part. Awareness sometimes takes its sweet time in arriving; awareness, for me, is sometimes a procrastinator. And then, sometimes, awareness is swift and sure. But awareness does arrive and I am grateful for awareness.
Acceptance is the hard one for me ......... I want it my way. I want it the way I planned it. I want it the way it made some sense to me.
But Acceptance is like a sigh of relief when it happens within me. Acceptance is my best friend. Acceptance tells me I can let go. I can let God. I don't have to carry the burden, whatever that burden may be, alone. Acceptance is a light breeze on a lovely sunny day 'When God Gives Us Spring'.
I hope you will enjoy reading When God Gives Us Spring as much as I gained in the writing of it.
I hope you will want to read any one of my many books. Even I have lost count but I do believe I now have nineteen publications. I should take a photo of them all. My most recent photo of my books does not include every one. And it is time that I put myself to work, though how such pleasure as writing can be called 'work', I don't know, and begin writing book number twenty.
I did write part one of my memoir and I titled it All Them Houses. I struggled so very much writing this book and 'hesitation' stepped up and partnered with 'uncertainty', these two keep getting in the way of my writing part two.
Fiction, for me, is easier to write than truth. Sometimes, for me, I find more truth in fiction and, in truth, I sometimes scratch my head, and think the truth sounds more like fiction than fiction.
I love to write and, more recently, I discovered that I love to paint. Yet, I have done none of these things for the past several months. Maybe this blog post can be another beginning. Maybe it is time to write about That Man on the Bench. He has been lurking in the back of my mind for some time. If I close my eyes I can see him. And recently a friend posted a picture of a lovely empty bench in a quiet park setting that spoke to me. This friend has now given me permission to use this photo and, yes, maybe it is time to put the story down on paper. It has been in my heart and in my mind for a long time now. Maybe, the time is drawing near.
And in the meantime, I hope you will read and enjoy When God Gives Us Spring.
My books are now all in the beautiful, new, Elliot Lake Public Library but I do hope there are some of you out there who want to buy a book; be it in kindle or print edition. If and when you do, know that I appreciate always your encouragement and your support.