How do you say thank you when your heart is exploding with gratitude? It calls for a truckload of admiration and love. And so, to everyone who has helped me throughout this Women Float book launch and throughout my creative and artistic career, this truck's for you. Specifically, I give you this truck of zinnias that I helped pick from the fields at Fairview Gardens to show my deepest appreciation for your comments, kind reviews and help.
To summarize the Women Float Book Launch Party for those who couldn't attend, here are the results: we sold out of books, I got some great local press coverage and I've had about four lovely online blog book reviews. Both pre-orders and the book launch sales broke preview records for the publisher, CCLaP, and about 50 people showed up to buy books on June 7 and to hear me read. (To read the reviews and articles, check out the bottom of the Women Float page on my website, here.)
Wow. This is more than I ever imagined. I am truly in awe of the kindness that has flowed towards me. In some sense, however, working and living on a farm prepares you for abundance, in all its forms, like the compliments and kind words I've received lately around my book. The key is not to assume that abundance will arrive, but to know how to manage the explosion of nature's bounty if and when it shows up. Like a tree full of apricots or a field of strawberries or zinnias all blooming at once, there can be too much, too soon, all at once. What to do? Make jam. Turn the farm into a u-pick stand.
Or, in the case of the zinnias shown in the truck above, recruit anyone with two free hands to pick like crazy. The day before the huge Santa Monica farmers market one day before Thanksgiving, two of Fairview's main field hands called in sick. This was a near disaster. The head farmer, Julie, knew that she could sell anything she brought to that market, but without people to pick the zinnias, she was out of luck. That's when I got the call to abandon the office yurt where I was designing a new farm program curriculum for local elementary kids and take to the fields. So, off I went, with Julie and two other female volunteers. We bunched all the zinnias seen above and finished by noon. The feeling of cutting and gathering the vibrant colors, on a hot California fall day, was one of perfect delight at doing work that didn't feel like work.
In the moment of cutting those gorgeous zinnia stems and chatting playfully with a group of interesting and new women, I felt raw delight. We were surrounded by our bounty, and, at the end, that felt completely normal and totally astounding. That's how I feel now, engulfed by this unexpected full-body embrace of generosity from longtime friends, family and even total strangers. I am trying to channel that day at the farm and remember that it is both perfectly average and delightfully momentous to be the bearer of so much that is good, beautiful and alive. So, again, thank you and here's to the possibility that we all deserve and can receive generosity.
Milk & Honey
A Blog on Creativity
All content and images copyright Maureen Claffey