Thursday, October 9, 2008

Enthusiasm! by DL Larson

Yesterday started out ordinary enough, but it soon took an upswing as I stood in the gravel driveway with my granddaugters. We were waiting for the bus, practicing spelling words for their very first spelling test! The weather was damp, almost rainy with patches of clear. I started singing, "The ants go marching one by one." Alex and Kylie joined right in. We marched about, waving our arms at "hurrah, hurrah." We continued belting out the verses, ten of them, all ending with the ants marching down into the ground to get out of the rain. We practiced more spelling words, wondering why the bus hadn't arrived yet. The girls were eager to get to school before they forgot how to spell give, with it's tricky silent e. They were sure they could get all ten words correct if they could just take that pesky test now. Their eagerness to succeed was contagious and we went over the words a few more times.

Mrs. Barb, the bus driver, finally pulled up to our house. She was more chatty than usual. The coal train had caught her on the wrong side of the tracks! We laughed, knowing those early morning trains have more than 100 cars, all poking along at a turtle's pace. Mrs. Barb was animated, anxious to get back on schedule, eager to deliver her cargo as promptly and as safely as possible.

About midmorning little Rylinn burst into the library with her mom. Rylinn stood at my desk, eyes bright with something special she wanted to share. "Mrs. Deb, guess what I get to be for Halloween?" Before I could contemplate a choice, she burst out, "I'm going to be Glenda the good witch!" She flung her arms out, twirled about and gave a little hop. "I am sooo excited!" Her enthusiasm filled the room and I wanted to be Glenda the good witch too.

The afternoon crowd at the library ended up being the usual suspects, those addicted to MySpace and general horsing around on the internet. But one young boy who has recently joined my chess team hung around my desk, then started following me as I put away books. We chatted til he finally blurted out, "Chess is so awesome." I smiled, agreed. "No, I mean it's really awesome." I think he wanted me to play him a game, and I would have gladly had I had the time. Instead I put him on a chess computer game and watched his eyes brighten to the fact there was such a thing as a computer chess game. His hunger to learn and grow and do well was a strong pull to do better myself.

I thought my day of enthusiastic people had come to an end, but when I went to choir practice, Laurrel, our director handed out new song sheets for us. Her love of music is such a blessing and she pulls harmonic sounds from us that no one else ever could. It's her dedication to her profession, her love of what she's doing. She makes us better together than we ever could be on our own.

The day didn't end there, even though I was tired and wanted to collapse. But my husband made me go back to town to meet the people who were renting our house. It was nearly nine and I hadn't had supper yet. My husband would have said I was crabby for having to go out again. When I pulled up in the driveway already full of cars and a big moving truck, I thought how silly to move so late in the evening. Then I met the young couple Nikki and Josh. This was their first home! They couldn't wait to move in. They were giddy, their friends just as animated. Excitement whirled about us and the happiness in their eyes was contagious. They were truly anxious to begin living in their new home.

So, today, my mission is to spread a little enthusiasm of my own. Take a moment to remember why you like to write. Reach down and find that bubble of excitement and pour all that energy into your writing. Get excited! Be animated. Be the one in the room that shines, from the inside out. Let your words work and twist, building conflict or resolution. No matter how light-hearted or serious your topic, without enthusiasm your work is dry bones. Be the writer whose words come to life right off the page.

Now that's something to get excited about. Enthused even.

Til next time ~

DL Larson


Morgan Mandel said...

Funny how I can remember all those little songs from when I was in brownies and riding on the bus.

Make good friends, but keep the old

Ninety Nine bottles of beer on the wall...

Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

I know!
They just pop into my head and I start singing - my granddaughters think it's hilarious!