Seems life hands out lots of flak along the way. Darkness falls upon…whoever. Some, for no apparent reason, seem to draw more than others do. Heck, even God Himself is “no respecter of persons.” So the odds are that, if we live long enough, we will all, at some point in time, get dumped on.
This is reality, folks.
Years ago, after the devastating loss of my child, I ran head on into the veracity of that. I faced the fact that self-pity would not only “not get it” but would destroy me. Not an easy thing to deal with. Writing was tossed to me as a lifeline. At first it was therapy. Then it became a passion. Along the way over that troubled, murky trail to renewal, a message etched itself into my soul. One that must be told.
It is that “No matter how dark things get, there is always sunshine above those dark clouds, You just have to go through the darkness to get to it.”
In my mainstream fiction novels, I don’t garnish my stories with pretty paper and ribbons. I strive for reality. I want readers to span the darkness with my characters, weep with them and struggle with them as they grasp for enlightenment and renewal.
Only then can they truly appreciate the fact that, when they emerge from that dark odyssey into light, the glow will be glorious to behold! Remember what one little candle can do in a dark world. I use this same Darkness/Light contrast in my novel, Song of Renewal, to symbolize the three Wakefields’ struggles toward enlightenment and renewal.
A poignant example of one of those 14K Renewal Moments happened to me several years ago as I lay very sick and discouraged. A year earlier, on a trip, I’d lost my gold watch, my family’s Christmas love gift to me. This loss added to my depression and that led to more Fibromyalgia inflammation and bed rest. Losing that watch came to symbolize what a washout I’d become.
This particular day, as I lay ill, a sudden peculiar urge struck, to transfer my cosmetics from my ancient satchel to one I’d recently purchased. I laboriously gathered what I needed and returned to my heating pad. Listlessly, I began plucking individual, small zipped pouches from the old bag and dropping them into the streamlined see-through case.
Soon, I reached the bottom of the dilapidated satchel I’d carried so long that safety pins comically held her together. My fingers shuffled remaining debris, searching.
Like my life, I thought dryly as my hand sifted old cotton balls, hairpins, half-used lipsticks—nothing significant. Ugly. I sighed, then grabbed the bedside garbage basket to junk it.
Wait, screamed a silent voice.
I stilled. Turn it upside down first. The succinct command bypassed reasoning. I spread a plastic bag over my lap and dumped the contents.
Pure junk. You’ve really lost it, kid.
As the dust settled, I vacantly glimpsed gold peeking through the hubble. For long moments I stared blankly at the delicate gold band, unseeing.
Then slowly, it began to shimmer…brighter and brighter. Something inside me floundered about, fluttering and flapping its way upward, upward. Lethargy stirred, then scattered.
A dream? The shimmering blurred. I wiped my eyes to clear them, then reached out and touched it. I slowly turned it over.
My gold watch.
Wonder washed over me in waves, small at first, then higher and higher, until it tidal-waved. My heart swelled and pounded with joy, uncontrollable bliss like I’d not felt since childhood. My limbs tingled to dance.
And then a honey-rich peace poured over me, coating me inside and out.
In that sacred 14K moment, I gazed up and acknowledged my source. How like you, I thought, unable to speak as tears gathered. Gold, the Alpha and Omego of this odyssey….
At my lowest ebb, in my darkest moment, amid junk and dust, you literally dump this miracle in my lap!
In that 14k Moment, my Renewal set in. Instantly, energy and clarity invaded me, altering my perception. And I knew beyond doubt that time would complete my restoration.
I’m okay! I am loved! The intimacy of it smote me.
Like the Wakefields, in Song of Renewal, everyone has a choice when devastation strikes. You can drown in the darkness or you can decide to swim against the tide for a spell. But then there comes that 14k moment when we see the light at the end of that dark tunnel. We swim harder toward it, then climb out into the light.
It’s a choice. Sure, sometimes, the current is stronger and harder to conquer. But there is a choice.
And lest I forget, my little gold watch daily sparkles a reminder of my own 14k Renewal Moment!
Emily Sue Harvey is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month. This means we are offering sensational deals on all of her works. You can learn more at our website.