You Are Here to Risk Your Heart…

“I have been quietly standing in the shade all my days.” Artwork by Shannon N.

Even though I enjoyed watching the trees through the rain yesterday, I missed spending time in their presence. The mail gods knew, so they arranged for the tree above to arrive in time for a day too rainy and gloomy for time outdoors.

Rainy days often bring the best gifts.

The apple tree art is the work of Shannon N, eleveneleven on Redbubble.  It was gifted to me by Geraldine, my swap-bot friend who has been consistently sending random acts of happy mail my way. The card came with condolences and a Louise Erdrich quote befitting the image on front:

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.  —Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Wow! My knowledge of Erdrich’s painful, life-shattering story makes these words counsel to heed, particularly when I’m tempted to survive by not feeling or dealing with a host of pent-up, mixed-up emotions.

Although I really enjoy Erdrich as a writer, I haven’t read any of her novels since I was working on my doctorate (gasp!). So, thanks, Geraldine, for the three gifts embedded in one 4×6 postcard–the tree, the Erdrich quote, and a book suggestion for the next rainy, stay-indoors day.

May you have a weekend filled with reading, rest, and random gifts!