Paddle to the Sea, by Holling Clancy Holling (Houghton Mifflin, 1941), is the story of a little wooden carving of a man in a canoe. He begins on a snow bank in the far north and floats down the melting snow and follows the water system, through various adventures, all the way to the sea. My mom read me this book when I was little, and the story, like its main character, has paddled along with me to this moment, when it feels like a little fable of my present life.
Letters to Saint Lydia has been published. Released. Shipped out. It exists now. I created it, but it now has a life of its own, like the little man in his canoe slipping away down the snowy mountain into the world beyond. People I know and people I don’t know are reading it, in places where I have been and in places where I may never be. Some of them get in touch with me, and sometimes, I make a connection with someone that leads to something else, a conversation, a little burst of friendship, a writing assignment. I suppose this is networking, but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like the water flowing along, bringing my little boat to whatever awaits it, and me, one adventure at a time.