Here it is already Wednesday, and the first day of November. I've made out my goal, a.k.a. "Must Do" list for the month and am all prepared to complete every one of its tasks. (Not). I begin with good intentions and hope I can see them through to the finish. I'm thankful I don't beat myself up when one or multiple tasks must be carried into the following month. 

I recently noticed a Facebook post from a friend of mine, Lauren Figueroa of The Georgia Pear Interiorsshe was giving a shout-out to this blog, 52-18, explaining how I would be reading a book a week in 2017 and choosing a top 18 at the end of the year. 

Is that really my goal? Whoa. So ambitious. 

Friends, I think I have failed you! Failed myself? Just failed. 

May I carry this task into 2018? Well. The year's not over yet. Maybe I'll catch up, and surprise myself. 

I was traveling this past weekend, first from Shreveport (to Dallas), to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and then the reverse, from Fort Wayne to Shreveport. I saw three different airports and plenty of people. Airports. Planes. People out upon the tarmacs. Pilots, flight attendants, business men and children and grandmothers, tired people (buying coffee at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks). 

I have a co-worker who, before I left Shreveport on the front end, told me she'd never flown before. "Really?!" I said, trying not to show too much amazement. But why should I be surprised? 

Not everybody flies the skies. 

"Do you want to?" I asked her. 

"Ohhh, yeah, I love just the idea of traveling," she responded. "I'd love to fly." 

We'd talked before about what it would be like to skydive, or whether we'd rather bungee jump. Flying is, in a way, like skydiving, in the sense that it's easier to imagine yourself falling through those clouds you see beyond the window--since you're already up there. . . above the clouds. From down below on the ground, a person's got to propel their mind upwards, close their eyes and imagine. 

On one of my flights this past weekend I looked out the window and saw a floor of white, the clouds like a massive sea of down pillows, all of the down unstuffed. All of it was purest white, the pureness that's tinged by blue--pearlescent, not quite opaque. I realized that below the clouds, the ground would be shadowed. But up here, the world was all sun. 

Flying, sky diving, even the small act of looking. These are actions that reveal purity, beauty, goodness. I'm struck right now by the idea that if we, as people/humans/creatures merely keep our eyes open for something we haven't seen before, or look at something old with new eyes, we will inevitably see something beautiful. But we have to be looking for it, above the clouds or below them. 

For myself, I'm looking for God's hand in my life. I've found it. I hope in some way--small or large--you are finding it too. If not God, then yes, just beauty. 

as for books, I'm still reading John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. It's a tome. But a story I don't think I'll forget. Stay tuned (in the next couple weeks) for a larger review on Owen, Thomas Merton, and likely some other book I've discovered. Keep reading!

-all my best, always. Maggie