A Guest Blog by Gail Kittleson

Someone decided to take an older relative to Europe to celebrate her retiring from work. When they broke the news, the woman said, “Oh . . . I’ve really been wanting to go to Florida.”

Another friend of a friend was discussing her plans to go to Oktoberfest. My friend asked, “Wonderful—have you been in Germany before?”

“Oh, we’re not going to Germany, we’re going to Oktoberfest at the Epcot Center.”

The two conversations stuck in my mind, since both reactions were unexpected.

These narratives fit my purposes right now because today I had an unexpected, pleasant surprise.

A friend of mine has found numerous ancient pottery shards in her Arizona yard. She’s also unearthed a Native American grinding stone, and when I recently met a man who worked on our house, he said the excavators discovered a large metate (most likely the mate of the grinding stone) on the property back in the eighties.

This was especially intriguing, since one of my historical novels takes place right here. My heroine looks out at the Mogollon Rim every morning, and in her forced isolation on a desolate ranch, that landmark steadies her, gives her hope. She yearns to meet some natives and learn their language.

Research tells me several tribes wandered this land, but the news about the grinding stone found right under our house . . . Wow!

Back to the shards.

I’ve looked and looked, but nary a shard peeped up at me from the rocky red soil, and I resigned myself to being shard challenged. But on this gorgeous March morning, TA DA  . . . drum roll, please,

I found one!shardsed

Yes, and it actually matches a larger piece my friend found last year. How cool is that?!

Yesterday I attended a contemplative prayer workshop facilitated by a well-known instructor. He shared how spiritual experiences come to us when we least expect them, and how our part is simply to show up.

We might be “doing everything right,” disciplined in our practice, and nothing seems to happen. Then one day, maybe we feel wretched and unfaithful and so ridiculously unworthy, we can hardly lift our heads. And that might be the time we experience our clearest connection.

Every other time I went out to search for shards, I hoped to find one. So why, when I’d pretty much given up on success, did I discover one today?

“Ours is not to reason why . . .”

Ours is just to show up with our whole hearts and open ourselves to the moment. Such a positive way to face life – our work, our hobbies, and our spirituality.


 Meet Gail KittlesonGail-Jpeg

Sometimes we learn what we’ve done only after we do it. I wrote Catching Up With Daylight over a ten-year period, but learned the term “spirituality writing” only after the book was published. This is a life theme for me–figuring things out after the fact, but even though it may make things a little harder, I learn a lot in the process. I live with my very patient husband (35 years) in St. Ansgar, Iowa, teach a small creative writing class, and facilitate workshops on creativity/memoir writing/aging with grace. Vintage Rose Press offered me my first fiction contract in December, 2014, so I’m deep in edits and loving every minute of it.  Well, almost every minute…

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