Book ExcerptCary reached into her pocket with a smile. “I found something else for you while I was out walking in Point Lobos, in Carmel. There were all these seals flopping on rocks, and the waves were pounding, and the water was green and blue and white, kind of otherworldly, you know?” Cary paused and waited for Miranda to nod.
“Go on, yes, I remember the pictures you e-mailed me.” Miranda ate another caramel.
“Well,” Cary continued, “there was this bird. Some sort of seagull, I think, but different than seagulls on the East Coast. I meant to look it up, but . . .” She paused and waved her hand. “Anyway, it landed in the water near the seals, in a place where the water was still. And with the splash of its feet on the water, a ripple went off, and it spread and kept going until I couldn’t see how much further it went. And Miranda. It’s been such a hard year. A tough year. But all through it, I’ve had my work. Our work. And we help each other, and then we help other women, and then, like Cassandra, they go on to help other women, you know what I mean?”
Miranda rubbed her elbow and looked up to the right, as if searching the sky for an answer. “Each time we help someone, it creates a ripple? Is that what you mean?”
Cary pulled her hand out of her pocket and showed Miranda the seashell she was cradling. “Yeah. One woman at a time. That’s what I wrote on this shell I found right on the shore near where the bird landed in the water. I wrote it with a Sharpie,” Cary giggled. “Funny that I had a Sharpie, but that was all I had, and I wanted to write it down before I forgot it. We help one woman at a time. And that’s enough, you know?”
Ex-lawyer E.L. Farris is a born-again, marathon-running married mother of three who resides in Northern Virginia. What else do you need to know about me? I talk a lot. I write a lot. I adore my husband. I adore my children. What else? Well, I run. I’ve been running since I turned 14. I started to run then and I’ve been running ever since. Whenever I stop running, I land in a lot of trouble. I ran through a childhood that could well be described as hell. I ran through major depressive episodes and often teetered one step from the edge of a breakdown. Through running, I held onto my sanity, my sobriety, my life and my belief in God. Each step I take, no matter how physically painful, draws me a shade closer into my better angels. And the steps have become painful over the years, which is how I earned the nickname Phoenix. Some mornings I feel like I’ve been run over by a bus and the truth is, I was. I survived a collision with a metro bus, and it’s fair to say that the accident messed me up. And yet I keep rising from the pyre of a burning fire and as I run I realize that as long as I hold the Holy Spirit inside me, my spirit will never die.
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