Leaves, Starfish and a Bunny

It’s “leaf season” at our house. We’ve got some big oaks on our property, 3 to be exact. For most of the year I love them. Kids from all over the neighborhood climb them, they give us shade which is much appreciated during the hot summer and a simple rope swing from one of the huge limbs provides endless entertainment.

PR and (the real) Davey raking those pesky leaves.

PR and (the real) Davey raking those pesky leaves.

However, at this moment I’m cursing them as leaves are dropping and it’s raining pollen pods! We’ve been working to get the leaves up to keep the grass growing and sweeping up the pollen so we can breathe.  With every pile we rake, I look back and at our progress and am completely unmotivated to keep going. It looks like we haven’t done a thing! What difference does it make?

Yesterday, SR asked that very question on round 3 of leaf pick up. As I was trying to be motivating I said, “Well for that patch of grass it’ll be good when the rain comes. It makes a difference for that area, right? ” (Partly knowing it does, and partly hoping he say, let’s quit for the day!)

"It made a difference for that one."

“It made a difference for that one.”

Instantly I remembered the quote from the Starfish story: “It made a difference for that one.”  (~The Star Thrower – Loren Eiseley) Simple? Yes. Motivating? Very.

I’m trying to apply this simple perspective to most everything in my world these days. “Folding this load of laundry makes a difference.” “Wiping down these counters makes a difference.” “Being on time in car line, makes a difference.” “Volunteering mid-week when there is so much other stuff to do, it makes a difference.” Sometimes we feel out of control and want to give up…and we could, easily.

Can I be honest? We’re in the home stretch of the Davey book (Pool Safety) and it’s been a long time coming. When busy schedules get to us and we feel overwhelmed, Hilary and I have had the tough conversation, “Do we just close up Inspired by Family and be proud of what we’ve accomplished over the years?” Some days, I think we both could walk away, but neither has the guts to say yes. Why? Because deep down we know it is making a difference. Are we setting any sales or download records? Not yet! (Just ask our husbands…they’re such good sports and so supportive.) It’s not about that. Success, for us, is when a child reads one of our stories, then changes his or her behavior. Because of our books, they know stay away from a stove or a fire and THAT COUNTS. That’s our success and we know it makes a difference.


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