On this past Lord’s Day morning, we sat outside enjoying our breakfast in the pleasant coolness. Gathered with Randa, Sam and me were my sister and her husband from North Carolina and my niece and her husband from Oklahoma. Freeda and Olian had driven over twelve hundred miles; Andrea and Scott nearly five hundred. Sam had just returned from Texas on a visit to be with Sara Jane and the boys. He is on temporary duty at Ft. Leavenworth.
Ostensibly, what had brought the other non-residents to northeast Kansas was the publisher’s official book launch party celebrating Amazing Things Press’ recent release of several books by several authors. That list included my new poetry book, Tears and Prayers. Hosted jointly by Julie Casey (publisher) and by Rick and Terri Tobiason at their wonderful Stained Glass shop in downtown Saint Joe, the event also included the work of several artists.
That group included Randa’s brother, Kevin Burleson, who is quite talented at making ceramic art and entertaining children. A group quickly gathered as he began his demonstrations at the potter’s wheel. Different children (some of whom were over forty) took turns under Kevin’s guidance while his wife, Cheryl and the rest of us looked on. Of the many pictures taken that day, my favorite is one of Kevin’s hands, coated with clay, wrapped over the small hands of a child feeling the shaping of their very first work in that of which we are made.
It was a wonderful day in more ways than one. I met a few people, was honored to have some of my family and friends there and autographed a few copies of my book.
As the waffles and sausage gradually disappeared, as sips of coffee and juice were enjoyed, I reflected on the gathering. Surrounded by green hills and hardwood trees, with the limbs of the locust tree swaying softly in the slight breeze, I closed my eyes for a moment. I savored the feel of morning air, the aromas of breakfast, the sound of voices.
It is good to love and to be loved.