One day old

The birth of a baby reminds us of how fragile and malleable the human mind and spirit are. We can only stand in awe as a baby opens her eyes and eventually finds her fingers and toes. Soon she is smiling and reaching for toys.

After five months

This same transformation takes place thousands if not millions of times in one lifetime. What we learned to love in childhood stays with us. From these loves spring forth many adventures.

This is me, about 1956, sporting my cowgirl hat and enjoying my favorite summer treat

When my mother sliced up a large, cold, watermelon for the first time that summer of 1956, I gave myself completely to the moment. I was all in, all there, enjoying every minute of that summer day, every juicy red morsel right down to the rind.

Today, I have to consciously choose beginner’s mind

What happens along the way to many people is that some dashed hope, failure to obtain a goal, fierce attachment to an outcome, gets firmly in the way of beginner’s mind. I know because I have been there. When I have tried to force something to happen, when I have gotten smug about knowing all I need to know, when I have overlooked the limitations of my own vision, that’s when I have stumbled. Sometimes I needed to get to the very end of myself. That’s when grace arrived. That’s when I grew.

And that’s when I was ready again for beginner’s mind.

How about you? Have a story to tell about growing or stumbling or starting over? Leave a comment below.

P. S. My New Beginning today? I’m going to eat some fresh fruit mindfully, remembering the little girl who loved watermelon so much her sticky cheeks attracted flies.

98 Days Until My Memoir Blush Launches

P. P. S. Don’t forget to leave your own New Beginning here. Every day you enter, you increase your chance of winning the great prizes. You also increase your intention to begin again, which might be even more important!

Shirley Showalter


  1. Joanne Hess Siegrist on June 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    NEW – Day 3. NEW – 1st time ever to take a 3 day international conference on Amish life at Young Center of Elizabethtown College. More than 100 elective presentations…. and folks coming from all parts of the world… day 1 was extremely valuable for me with many new networking connections for my work as a tour guide plus I gleaned lots of significant research details. Cheers.

    • shirleyhs on June 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Joanne, the conference sounds wonderful. I am sure I would enjoy it also. Maybe you can tell us a new thought you learn every day or a new person you meet.

      Next Monday Valerie Weaver-Zercher returns her to respond to Saloma Furlong’s review of Thrill of the Chaste.

      I’m sure you will enjoy!

  2. Melodie Davis on June 7, 2013 at 7:14 am

    This feels like a new beginning to me: now having “managing editor” at MennoMedia/Herald Press under my email sign off. Thirty-eight years ago when I graduated from EMU with an English major with hopes for any kind of journalism/writing job but not knowing if anything was really possible for me (and applying at all the Mennonite agencies, among other places). Well, ten or so job titles later, anything is possible, given enough time and experience (including having the publishing house move near me instead of the other way around).

    • shirleyhs on June 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Congratulations, Melodie! The best managing editors have done many other jobs in publishing. You have the blessing and curse of living in extraordinary times in the publishing world. Glad to have you so close by. And all best on your New Beginning. Let me know if I can be helpful.

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