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Cicada Summer

They brought him out to the waiting area, saying, “He misses you!” “I know!” I replied.

I have loved the song of cicadas for a long time. I mean, really loved. But the bloom is off that rose. Let the katydids come and the crickets hum. But this year I’ll be glad when the cicadas have died off.

It’s not been a great week. I just spent my Sunday morning, not in one of my personal churches–woods, lakeside, studio–but at the vet hospital with Miles. As an older dog he has kidney and pancreas issues and as a dog who is young at heart, he loves to hunt cicadas. In his younger years, it did not bother his healthy body to snack on them. But this year he’s like an addict, eyes glittering, panting, keening to get out the door and follow their call.

Staring at the door . . .

And so this year he got sick. By yesterday I was fearing the worst.

This morning I was doing my journaling in bed, dreading the experience and the cost of taking Miles to the vet hospital, a thing I’d decided must be done. My last experience had been terrible. I knew it would be expensive. So I started strategizing about how I could pay for it. Another Open Studio? It would have to be a VERY successful one. A big (I hoped) sale of paintings? I just felt like I had to do it.

And then, suddenly, as often happens when I write about a thing, I leapt from worry and dread to gratitude. I realized how lucky I am to have this resource, less than 10 minutes from my home. I have everything I need very close by. I would come up with the money. I felt hopeful and somehow even confident that if I took him there, Miles would be fine.

I bet there are cicadas out there.

So, two things.

a) I have often, as I read or think about gratitude, thought, well, it’s easy enough for me to list many things for which I’m grateful. But how easy would it be for people who are very sick, or who have loved ones who are very sick or struggling? Sure, I can make a list every day. But what about all those people in the midst of war, refugees, the sick and grieving? Gratitude must be very hard to come by.

b) Writing. Journaling. It is SO good for you. Try it! It can change your whole day.

P.S. Right now Miles is doing better. We’ll see how the week unfolds. Cicadas have fallen in my Love Scale, even though it’s not their fault animals love to eat them. And I’m sure they would rather not be eaten. But I’ll be happy when they’re gone.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“I am my own querencia. I am my own home. I am my own sounding board. I am my own soulmate. And what a beautiful feeling to carry with me…” ― G. Severino, On the Verge

“You think those dogs will not be in heaven! I tell you they will be there long before any of us.” ― Robert Louis Stevenson

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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