I’m here in a cabin in Waynesville, NC…it’s called Roaring Creek Cottage, and it’s beautiful and comfortable and well-stocked and amazing.  My husband Michael and I are here to visit with his mom, Ethel, 91 next month.  She was dancing at her assisted living facility and fell and broke her ankle.  Or possibly she did it getting out of bed the next morning.  We’re not sure.  She has pretty advanced dementia.

But in any case, she’s safely out of the hospital and in rehab, but she’s feeling confined, and can’t do what she wants to do, and has to call someone every time she needs to go to the bathroom, and it sucks.  At this point, now that she’s past the major pain meds and back on Advil, she’s clearer, knows why she’s there, but having been one of the healthiest people on the planet for all of her 91 years, she’s never had to go through a long-term recovery before.

We’re here to comfort her and spell Michael’s sister and brother-in-law, who live nearby and have been absolute champs about caring for her and making her as comfortable and happy as possible, including moving her to a different rehab center when the first wasn’t optimum.

So, the weekend will be and has been a mix of spending time in this glorious cabin, and time in the not-so-glorious rehab center.  Right now I can hear the creek rushing by and see the sunshine on the autumn leaves, and soon I will go out on the deck to participate in a session of a spiritual guidance/meditation class that I’m taking remotely by phone, and which is amazing.  But I’ll save those details for my next post.

In the meantime, being a writer and reader, I’ve been perusing the shelves of this great cabin, and I came across a lovely book that I read years ago, but that has inspired me to write to you today.  It’s called 212º: the extra degree.  Have you read it?

I just gave you the link to the Kindle edition, but if you’re more of a “real” book person, which I totally relate to and love, then you’ll want to get the small, hard cover version of this book.  It’s beautifully typeset, the photography is stunning…it makes a lovely gift. Having been originally published in 2006, it’s now only available in hard cover through third party vendors, but that means it’s a great deal!

The basic premise of the book is that at 211º, water is hot.  But at 212º, it boils.

What’s the one degree that will move your situation from being almost there to absolutely there?

The quote from the book that resonated with me this morning was this one:

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone
not by violence, but by oft falling.

–Lucretius
Roman Philosopher
50 B.C.

The patient repetition of drop after drop not only can but will wear through the hardest of stones.

Are you facing a hard stone? Ethel certainly is.  And does the face of that rock seem just as unperturbed by your actions as it was many days, months or even years ago?

If so, two questions: are you allowing yourself to believe that no impact has been made, nor can even be seen?  That is, is it possible that you’re not giving yourself the minutest bit of credit for the change and impact you have truly had?  Very few people can work hard at something and have zero impact.  Is it possible that your poor and terrified brain is telling itself a story?

Second, have you stopped dropping your drops?