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It is a mystery of life, this presence. Some people have it; some athletes have it; only the best performers have it. A person enters a room and all heads turn in their direction. They are a happening, an event, possessing a magnetism that by their very presence commands attention. Notice I said commands; arrogance demands.

Presence is not something one cultivates, specifically. Presence is rather the sum of many other personality traits such as confidence, determination, and purpose-  people with a purpose are always recognizable by their focus. We seem to have a nose for purpose. Purpose is attractive, addictive, and generally enthralling. Michael Phelps’ last relay was purposeful and it was difficult to take your eyes from him as he stood on the blocks awaiting his leg of the race and his purpose. Cameras could not resist cutting away to the waiting Phelps. 

Purpose is a mysterious and intoxicating aspect of good story-telling, too. Seeking answers to fundamental questions drives us to turn the page.

On another level, this purposeful presence surrounds us in ways that we do not always see or understand. It is; and the disappearance of presence is profound.

Yesterday, a very dear person’s presence escaped this earthly realm. The moment of passing is a moment of supreme mystery. However silent and restful that person may be, presence is felt. In an instant, it evaporates, disappears, escapes our awareness. The moment is every bit as magical as an infant taking its first breath. Both moments are highly purposeful; they are charged with purpose.

My mother-in-law was a very purposeful woman; she was put on this earth to teach. Her life was defined by teaching, whether it was her own students, my children, and more recently, her great-grand children. She taught a respect for the written word and a profound love for the natural world. Mother Nature’s instinctive nurturing of things that bloom exemplified her life. That’s what a teacher does.

It is inspirational that the journey of writing parallels this teaching experience. All of us that seek a writer’s life are motivated by the purposeful natural instinct to nurture that which blooms.

Thank you, Sue. I pray we may all bloom.

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