This summer I spent many weeks on the road, on a book tour for The Lemon Orchard. I experienced many wonders along the way, but none more lovely and generous than the moment when I entered Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and was handed Sharon Salzberg's latest book, Real Happiness at Work, with the explanation that Sharon, on her own book tour, had seen that I would be there the following night, and had left me a signed copy. It was such an act of kindness, and so welcome. I have long read Sharon's work, and have attended some of her workshops on meditation and metta. Leaving me her book was a way of connecting, a way of putting lovingkindness for a fellow writer and traveler into serious on-the-road practice.
At the same stop, Denise came down from British Columbia to see me and brought a pound of Tim Horton's coffee--we do love our coffee--and I was touched by her thoughtfulness.
At Warwick's in San Diego, my friend and reader Rachel Hartwig not only traveled all the way from Las Vegas, but she brought an Aphrodite cheesecake from the Market Grill Cafe--along with plates and forks for everyone who attended the event. If that's not love, I don't know what is.
I have more stories, too. Countless tales, from every stop along the tour, of friends and readers who touched me deeply.
As you know, it's not about things--even wonderful things like books and coffee--it's about thoughts and heart. All through the tour, readers graced me with their presence. On summer nights when they could have been out in the fresh air, with their friends and families, by the water or in the back yard, they chose to come to bookstores and libraries to see me, and I am very grateful.
In Mercy of the Fallen Dar Williams sings about her compatriots on the road, their wisdom and big hearts. If we are lucky, we will meet and look after each other along the way.