I grew up in western Michigan, where fun is the way of life for all.
Summer camps, swimming, canoeing down the Pere Marquette River, climbing sand dunes and jumping in the waves of Lake Michigan, picnics all over the Manistee National Forest areas, hay rides in the fall and horseback riding across fields, ice skating on real ponds and lakes and tobogganing down steep hills, all were part of my formation and have had great influence on my writing style. “A certain fresh naturalness” someone has called it. “There’s a simplicity and playfulness in your style.”
Perhaps I also owe it to my French-Canadian father who certainly had a taste for enjoying life, that Joie d’ vivre that bounces back in me even when life takes a bad turn. Plus my always cheerful Swedish grandfather, who I watched live through many challenges of spirit with quiet gracefulness. I can find the rainbow in the rain, eventually and always. Much of my writing, then, is an attempt to share the positives that I’ve gotten out of the negatives of my life. Much of it are learnings I wish I’d known as a child. I instinctively try to express what I’ve learned in a way that either a child or adult might enjoy taking in this learning.
My most serious writing has been my book Pain: The Challenge and the Gift, in which I propose that suffering has purpose – It is the harbinger of change. I also always carry with me a sense that we are part of “Something Larger” and Something Larger stays with us through all. I search for ways to discern a wise path through the adventures of life and ways to increase my gladness in being me and in being alive.
And then – How can I share what’s worked for me? My heart reaches out to others experiencing the same questions and puzzles in their lives.