It’s snowing, and the child in me dances for joy. Being a December birthday girl, my earliest memories remain infused with the delight and wonder of snowfall, the way it covers all the imperfections we humans have created on the earth, the way it prepares us to believe in miracles. I realize this love of cold and snow is one of my eccentricities, but I refuse to surrender it.
During my teaching career, this wintry month always created a special spirit in the classroom. Students treated each other with more cheer and less snark. Teachers anticipated the coming break, yet found the strength to reach out and help those struggling with home or school issues. The concept of peace seemed within our grasp. It was as though anticipation lifted every spirit and giving to others renewed the hope that we could be united as one people. I remember those days fondly as we slog on through this difficult year, and I question why our nation is divided between those who give of themselves, their strength, and their bounty, and those who only take, whining and complaining as they go.
My latest novel — A PRINCIPLE OF LIGHT — tests the fortitude and essential beliefs of all the characters, especially the two women around whom the book is centered. Nilesen is a poet whose life has been torn apart by factionalism. Jeannie is a photographer who sees her chance to use her art for a greater purpose slipping away. Together, they develop a bond that allows them to give to the others in their lives, especially to the men who love them. As I wrote this story, I pondered the gifts that the friends who lent their names to the women in the novel have given me.
Thirty plus years of friendship allows you to learn, savor, and grow as individuals. More than three decades of listening to each other’s stories enriched our interior lives in untold ways. We laughed together, cried on each other’s shoulders, shared struggles, and celebrated achievements. The real Nilesen and Jeannie gave me a depth of friendship I did not expect and had never known. It is to honor that friendship that I decided to donate ten percent of all proceeds from the sales of the book to the ALS Association. Nilesen suffered from this dread disease. Jeannie and I bore witness to the terrible toll of this as-yet-incurable affliction. So, I feel no shame in promoting this novel above the others I have written. Whatever funds I can raise will aid the research into a cause and develop a cure. Even the smallest infusion of cash may become a tidal wave of support for the men and women who pursue answers. Through the current pandemic, we have witnessed what is possible when an intense effort is made to find a solution. We have watched the medical professionals and researchers fight for our safety and health even when some of us fought them back. Vaccines are now being developed and soon will be available to aid in the fight against coronavirus. My hope is that, in my lifetime, I will also see a breakthrough in the neurological disease known as ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, that the belief in miracles accompanying this time of the year will carry over into one more medical arena. As you contemplate your own giving this season, please consider joining me in this cause, because this time, it’s personal.
Çok teşekkür ederim…Thank you so very much!
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