Gifts of a Low-Energy Day

What to do on a cloudy, low-energy Thursday following a Wednesday filled with heady activities?

Yesterday, my neighbor, Rita, invited me for lunch, a fellow writer who also has a long-established animal sanctuary on her property. Her long-time friend, Marilyn, traveled fifteen miles to join us, despite  the unending buckets of rainfall, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch with great conversation.

Later, at 7pm, the seven amazing life-writers in our writing circle at the library and I shared our last session, our sixth, of writing and sharing a series of our life stories. As I think of each woman today, I am profoundly moved by so much: their commitment, their incredible stories, their perceptive and tender support of each other, their bonding, and so much more. My first community writing group endeavor has evolved into all that I’d hoped it would become and more, when a group member last evening volunteered to take steps to lead them on as an independent community writing group that will keep meeting at the library. The joyful fatigue I feel today reminds me of the hours after each of my children were born; and I realize this has been another kind of birth.

So, with low creativity today, I ruled out working at the keyboard, except for writing this post. I read for awhile, then knitted on another hat for Carol’s Coats, a West Virginia church mission project established in memory of my friend, Carol Tyree. I knit the hat as if it were a prayer shawl, saying prayers with each stitch: of gratitude for my friendship with Carol and prayers for the child who will receive the hat next Christmas.

I remembered sharing lunch with two other friends last week, Lynn and Bobbie, and a fun day of shopping in Harrisonburg, especially in the fabric shop. I love fabric stores almost as much as libraries, and found just the right fabric to make a new pre-spring tablecloth. Filled with bright yellow lemons, it lay neatly folded by my machine, pre-shrunk, and ready to hem. I figured I had enough energy to make a hem and stitch it. And I did.

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About Mary Jo Doig

At the turn of the millennium, I arrived at a cross-road that brought me to a splendid, if unforeseen place, almost as if I were a traveler on Robert Frost's The Road Less Traveled. I was single again, my three children were grown and building their lives, I'd experienced a health issue and was working on an improved lifestyle. I also ached to do two other things: (1) change my long human services career in upstate New York's Catskill Mountains, where winter seemed to be at least seven months out of every year, and (2) move to a warmer place in the universe. My decision: did I want to continue on the path I'd been following pretty much all my life, or could I gather my then-fragile courage and start life brand new somewhere else? These were scary thoughts for a single woman in her late 50s. Five hundred miles away, though, I fell in love with a new mountain range, Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, where I knew not a soul except my daughter who was attending college in the Shenandoah Valley, and I moved. I rented a tiny cabin on a mountain in the woods and lived there in solitude for two years, working in a new career by day and, when home, communing with the incredible natural beauty that surrounded me. There I also began to write my life stories, which were aching for release. I joined the Story Circle Network in early 2001, a rich place in cyberspace for women life writers, where I strengthened my written voice and began sharing my stories. I found so many opportunities to grow: 10 year facilitator for an online writing circle of women writers across the country; thirteen year editor of the "True Words from Real Women" section of the quarterly Journal; a reader and reviewer of women's memoirs for the SCN Book Review site; program chair for two Stories from the Heart national conferences in Austin, T. Presently I'm teaching Women's Life-Writing and Older Women's Legacy workshops in my part of the world in Central Virginia and facilitating the ongoing Circle of Memories Writing Circle (formerly an OWL workshop that continued on) at the Crozet Public Library. I am blessed with three wonderful children, a son and two daughters; a small, huge-hearted family; dear friends; my beagle Addie and cat Button. My hobbies include reading, writing, editing, cooking, gardening, quilting, knitting, biking, and simply being with the profound beauty of the mountains that embrace my small two acres in the Blue Ridge. The life stories I began writing in 2001 have grown deeper with time, re-writes, and personal growth. All these years later, I'm scheduled to publish my memoir, Stitching a Patchwork Life, in 2018.
This entry was posted in Gifts, Gratitude, Knitting, Simplicity, The Writing Life, Womens' Writing Circles. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Gifts of a Low-Energy Day

  1. Bravo for your success with the writing circle – energy invested well! I think the best part of being retired is savoring low energy days – as earned rest. Enjoy. WONDERFUL tablecloth, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elaine Ercolano says:

    I second Jazz’s comment regarding “the best part of being retired is savoring low energy days”. What a blessing and luxury to be able to enjoy them. Congratulations on your success with your writing circle and keep those posts coming!

    Liked by 1 person

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