The story is almost ready, but something’s been missing.

I’ve been searching for a scene.

I’ve written four attempts. I was ready to settle for the best of them. They felt forced and artificial, something grown in a lab to produce a particular color.

And then I went walking on this gray, quiet morning. And there was the scene. Right there, on the sidewalk, at the intersection of Richmond Beach Road and Dayton. Growing up between the cracks in the pavement. Growing wild. Someone had propped a little sign against it, the size of a postage stamp. The sign said “FREE”.

So here I go, back to the laptop for another day. Because while these miracles do happen, no, they’re not really free.

They’re just sprouts. They need to be planted in a certain way, with love and attention to their particularity and needs. And even so, there are other forces at work. They may never bloom, due to my carelessness, or due to forces beyond my control.

It’s my job to take them with gratitude. And to do the work. Without wasting time, because these things shrivel and die fairly quickly. They don’t keep in the freezer.

The rest isn’t up to me.

Hopefully, all of those long hours of work in the last few months, those sessions that came to little or nothing, have sharpened my tools and taught me some things so that now I’ll be able to serve this opportunity. I hope so. That’s the point of all those secret, often-fruitless hours, right?

If we’re blessed, the scene will come to life and show us all something good.

That’s my job for today.

And to think that I almost stayed in my room.

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