A few weeks ago, I sent a revision of my novel, Lion Heart (Summer 2013 Atheneum) to my editor. I waited anxiously, and soon she wrote me a lovely note saying how much she liked where I had taken the book. How I rejoiced! I wrote back to her that I never thought I would ever write another book that I loved as much as Eva of the Farm (July 2012 Atheneum), but that I had--I loved Lion Heart. But they are different, I told her. Eva of the Farm is like a softly glowing pearl, Lion Heart is like a diamond--bright and shining.
Later that night, I listened to a song I love. It is called Sleepsong by the group Secret Garden. One of the lines is:
May you sail fair
to the far fields of fortune,
with diamonds and pearls
at your head and your feet.
Hearing this, I had one of those dazzling moments where it seems the forces in the universe all chime together. I indeed had diamonds and pearls--my two beloved books--at my head and my feet. My books are my treasure. And I sailed deep into my heart to get them.
So what does all this have to do with luck? I’m not certain. I set out with intention to write my books, to sail to the far fields of fortune. I didn’t know I would find a softly glowing pearl to lay at my feet, and a brightly shining diamond to place at my head. Did the power of luck lead me to find or create those jewels? Or was it the power of looking? When do the forces of the universe converge in what Jung called synchronicity, and when are you simply paying attention to things you didn’t pay attention to before? I don’t know.
I do know this. Luck may happen to you along your voyage, but you cannot count on it to fill your sail. Planning, passion, commitment, perservering--all with your hand lightly on the rudder of your own known ship--that you can count on. The wind may still blow you off course, but perhaps an unexpected discovery awaits on an island you never thought to see. An emerald?
The song continues:
May you need never to banish misfortune.
May you find kindness in all that you meet.
So go on, trust to your heart and hope for luck and kindness, and may you sail fair to the far fields of fortune and fine treasure of your own.