Webster's second definition for gleaning: to collect or find out (facts, information, etc.) bit by bit. That best describes what this past year on the island has been for me: a year of gleaning. I've been finding out what I really want to do, who's really important to me, who feels I'm important to them, and how my life is going to look in the year or so to come. This has been both exciting and disheartening as I look forward to new adventures and leave old dreams behind. But the gleaning was necessary.
With the gleaning came some deadheading, the plucking off of dead petals so new growth could take place. Old habits, some old friends had to be left behind in order to let the positive energy flow in and take its rightful place in our lovely bookstore, where we wish to keep hope flourishing and smiles alive. The energy is alive here and we've worked hard to make our community of peace and understanding, where no one who enters is judged or ridiculed by others, where all have a place to come rest and chat a moment. We've tossed in a Board Game Night, a group of women who knit and chat, a writing group very much like the one I left behind that keeps me sane, play readings, poetry readings, and live music to keep the smiles alive. We're selling books, too. It's working.
While collecting information, I learned to listen to my own heart and trust my own instincts, that others had the right to their own opinion but that didn't make their opinion right. We all need to remember that and not be so easily influenced by pundits, news reporters, friends and family. There are always at least two sides to every situation. You figure out those who live with truth and positive energy in their lives and when you wrap yourself around those folks, life gets good. So much easier never to have to play games or tiptoe through the landmines others set up for themselves. A musician friend of mine recently said, "It's better to run with scissors than walk on egg shells." Oh yeah, I agree....take some risks, live your life, live truthfully, accept others for who and what they are, enjoy the ride, toss the negativity away. Who needs it?