The Petite Miracle
The Scratchpad №69
The previous day I had stumbled upon St. Ignatius of Loyola’s work and after a strenuous eight hour nap, the information had soaked my mind. Since I was in a mind-state to find God in all things, coffee was in order upon waking. I figured if I can’t find him in this mug, I’ve done something wrong. I set a pot on the burner and waited.
Days had blurred by and it was already mid-March. Rain had decided to fall and it caught the Californians off-guard. The water was near a boil when my attention was grabbed by the front window. My glance found my neighbors doing extremely low impact exercises in their garage. Even though I believe it’s easier to go bold than it is to go medium, I was proud of them considering that the whole town seemed deserted from the wetness. Everyone was behind their doors, behind their screens, all tucked in with their dreams, their hopes, packed-in tight with their mail, medications and meditations.
I sipped coffee greedily because a non-directional excitement had entered my bones. The gray outside did not mirror what I felt on the inside. The surge sent me to talk with the dogs and explain to them how fresh the day was. They followed my lead, jumped around, barked a little. I remembered my Pa on Myrtle Avenue in North Long Beach playing Thunder Road by Springsteen on the weekends. With no hesitation, I plugged my buds in, made another pot of coffee and sang along with The Boss.
A sweet smell came over Cedarwood Dr. when the rain passed and I realized I was behind my door, behind my screen, all tucked in with my dreams, my hopes, packed in tight with my mail, medications, and meditations. I sat back in my chair questioning myself and my capabilities.
This awareness came down on me like a hammer while I was finishing a whole stack of rice cakes (13 count) each with a dab of peanut butter. The shudder of American hustle neutralized any kind of Zen I had achieved. The strangeness had developed, and it was too late to try and salvage the environment. This wasn’t my first rodeo and I didn’t need to wait until I was in a neck deep panic to help myself.
Walking is the first (and usually last) line of defense. I put on my goodwill walking uniform (a $10 job of Asics gels, Reebok windbreakers and an Izod sweater) and went for a walk to nowhere. A fortune cookie bonus was added to this stroll when on Red Coach Lane my burly friend with huge ankles is watering his almost-completed renovated lawn.
I walk by and shout, “It’s coming along!”
“Little by little,” he says.
I watched him start this project eight months ago and he had nothing but a front yard full of dirt, weeds and an indefatigable hope.
It’s always the same when I can look closely at it: Nothing is ever enough.
This is the anxiety. I somehow convince myself if that I pound myself into the ground that things will get done faster, quicker, better.
But as my burly friend with huge ankles says, “Little by little.” This is how anything gets done. What a petite miracle.
I decided against the idea of pretend-work on a Saturday night. Instead, I sat by a fire in my backyard, let the sugar of the night fall from the moon and coat my glass of Malbec with a reflection that had no regard of the future.
Nothing was blurred.
Our friends over at Reedsy invited us to takeover their short story contest and we are glad we did. The responses were awesome making the winner hard to select, but this story stood out in more ways than one.
Taking inspiration from the incredible J.K. Rowling for our latest prompt. Deadline has been extended to Tuesday at 5:00pm.
Love this collaboration presented by Kalpesh Mange. We want to see more stories like this, so find a friend, write a collaborative piece, and send us the link so we can feature it.
R.C. Langlands is a longtime contributor and incredible author. Each time his name pops up in our feed it’s a pleasure and this is a shining example of why.
Super impressed by this piece from Gabriela Gerard and thoroughly enjoyed every last line.
- Fathers & Daughters — Project Kane
- Morty & Fred — David Baron
- Linger — Jackie Ann
- The Strix — Anneyé Blanco
- Bountiful Harvest — Arden Falls
- Presence — Rhonda Marrone
Something to ponder..
“ “I think if you’re not inspired by life you’re not paying attention.”
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With love from California and Texas,