Christine Mason Miller has been doing this crazy cool 100 Books Project where she drops books (and with the help of her book fairies) all over the world for people to find. I was honored to be a book fairy and took the book with me on our trip to rural Wisconsin. Here is my book fairy story...
I was biting my nails when it was raining when we arrived. Where would I leave the book? It had to be outside. But rain! Rain. More rain. Three days in a row of constant rain.
Finally, it cleared up but I knew it was only for a short time. Rain was on the way again. Outside wasn't going to work. I was bummed and those negative voices started up in my head... "But it has to be outside! I won't get good photos inside! I have to have amazing photos for my blog!" Then I realized I was being ridiculous. This project isn't about me or photos for my blog. It is about the chance moment of another random person finding it. What goes on before that moment is not the main story. I am a messenger, not the message.
The spot I picked was here at a park, right on the Wisconsin River in Nekoosa, a once bustling logging town of about 2,500 people. I liked how the sign said it was a "resting place for the river traveler" because I've always used traveling down a river as a metaphor for life.
There was a little white bathroom house in the distance, which seemed like an appropriate drop spot given my affinity for house shapes. A good "resting place for the river traveler" and it would be safe from the rain in there.
There was nobody around but I still felt all sneaky walking up.
I gingerly placed it in the windowsill, stepped back and snapped a photo. Immediately I tried to think up a way to place a hidden camera in there. Until I realized I was scheming to put a hidden camera in a bathroom. Oops, creepy, I laughed to myself.
So I stood there, just staring at it. I couldn't leave! Leaving meant my part in this story was over. The minute I walk away I fade. What if this isn't the perfect spot? What if I find a better spot tomorrow? Once I let go, I have no control anymore. And worse, I may not ever find out what happens to the book. So I'm frozen, not doing anything. Standing in a dirty bathroom in rural Wisconsin, staring at a book in a brown paper bag.
Then, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw what I was doing. At first I laughed. Then tears welled up in my eyes as I realized this lesson of "letting go" keeps hitting me over the head. It is only me that gets in my way. I am my own biggest obstacle. It wasn't ever more clear than at that moment. Let go. I need to step out of my own way or I'll never go anywhere.
So I took a deep breath and I walked out the door, leaving the rest of the story to be written by someone else.
I let go. And I'm floating down the river smoothly now, letting it guide me because it knows where it is going, even when I don't.