A la Florence

As in Florence Scovel Shinn.

I am a big fan and reader of the writings of Florence Scovel Shinn and have shared her wisdom regularly on this blog. One of my favorite lessons from her book, “The Game of Life and How to Play It” is the story of signs of land – a concept I have written about in my book, Spiritual Shorts (prosperity): essays on everyday abundance.

Here’s the excerpt:

Invariably, before a demonstration, come “signs of land.”

Before Columbus reached America, he saw birds and twigs which showed him land was near. So it is with a demonstration; but often the student mistakes it for the demonstration itself, and is disappointed.

For example: A woman had “spoken the word” for a set of dishes. Not long afterwards a friend gave her a dish which was old and cracked.

She came to me and said, “Well, I asked for a set of dishes, and all I got was a cracked plate.”

I replied, “The plate was only signs of land. It shows your dishes are coming – look upon it as a birds and seaweed,” and not long afterwards the dishes came.

Lately I have had some wonderful demonstrations of Good. I needed some roof repairs done and before I could blink I was contacted for some academic consulting work that I was able to accomplish from the comfort of my home that more than covered the cost of the roof repairs. In addition I received a monetary award/bonus at work AND – perhaps the most exciting, had a small piece of writing accepted for publication in a magazine that pays $100!

Abundance demonstrations aside, the acceptance of my writing for publication in this magazine has been an exciting cap to my weekend! I have been writing and submitting and writing and submitting for a bit, and as anyone who writes knows well, it is a writing AND waiting game.

Most of the pieces I submit are longer stories that pay more than $100. And as a student of Mrs. Shinn, I know how to respond to these “signs of land“. I know that the publication of this shorter piece is a “birds and seaweed” moment, and with gratitude for the wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn, I’m dancing, clapping and celebrating this moment!

Guardian Angel pub


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