YD screen doorI had my easiest speaking engagement yesterday. It was at a beautiful Troy home overlooking a river and woods and a mother deer with two babies actually sauntered up to the mineral lick quite close to the kitchen screen door while we stood there talking.

On the table were cookies, candies and tomatoes just picked from the deck garden. The homeowner showed me pictures of a fox and a coyote and a hawk who had visited her yard, and we talked about retaining walls and the amount of light that comes through all the many windows and how I would love to have my morning cup of coffee overlooking this view.

Then we sat around the spacious family room on a variety of stylish couches and I told my unrehearsed story of how I came to write a book about food and faith. It was a good story. Unpracticed, I simply fell into me and there were details that popped into my head that were important and meaningful and dots connecting and I made jokes easily, without even intending to.

The audience was small but silent, rapt, intent on listening to what I had to offer. To the 9 women there, I sold 8 books. It was a good event.

And then, in the bright-moon dark, I drove two miles to meet a friend at a very hip restaurant. We met because of our kids but last night was just us and we sat at a table with drinks and food we might never have otherwise ordered and talked in ways that we have never talked, in ways that bring you closer as friends.

As I left the restaurant, I had a blog writing in my head. Though I’ve forgotten much of it now, I remember wanting to exclaim about how wonderful my friend Sarah is, how easy a night, how warm and rich I feel after spending time with good people, with open hearts.

The speaking engagement was to a group of sorority sisters, and though I was an outsider, I felt welcomed by the very interesting women there. It is always worth our time to meet new people who are friendly and open and interesting.

I keep thinking it would be a good use of my limited time to spend an hour once a week or once a month at a coffee shop with the women who amaze me and whom I rarely get to spend unrushed time with, talking, sipping coffee, noticing the flecks of gold in their eyes.

I didn’t sleep much last night. Maybe it was because of all the adrenaline-filled activity of the day (2 speaking engagements, a quick soccer game, hours of work!). Maybe it was because of the unusual foods I ate.

Or maybe it was just that when life feeds you,  you don’t need as much rest time. Maybe when we are satisfied and satiated, our tanks are full to run for more hours on that, the true fuel.

This morning, there is a rich belt of yellow over the house next door from the rising sun. The trees are deeply green against a cloud-swiped blue sky. It’s supposed to be 75 degrees today.

The other day, I walked in the rain-wet morning under an overcast sky and just those early moments of walking reminded me of happy times in northern Michigan, the times without worry and to-do lists and get-it-done mentality of the work week and the kids at school and the family so damn busy.

It’s the scent of the true meaning of life, and I was so glad to be reminded of it.

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