Checking In

My favorite part of our trip to Orange Beach, Alabama, was the group of devil rays that came out at twilight. I spotted the fish during my walk along the ocean. If you’ve ever seen a stingray, you can imagine their shape. Underwater, along the shore, the gray blotches moved effortlessly. It was as if the fish had wings. I wondered: What if I hadn’t been

looking? What if the devil fish had glided by, unbeknownst, and the wonder I experienced had been lost?


Our cover woman Deb Allison-Aasby knows the importance of taking life moment by moment. From starting a business when she was a new mother, to running one of Northeast Wisconsin’s top arenas, I think she’d agree: we’re at our best when we roll with

the waves. The end of a vacation is always a test. I returned finding too much to do

and not enough time. There was laundry. A week’s worth of bills. People asking more of me.

Today I woke and anxiety clouded my thoughts. My husband handed me a cup of coffee and asked what was bothering me. I let loose. As I spoke, slowly: I began to hear myself. My problems wouldn’t matter in a year. They wouldn’t matter in a week. I relaxed

into realizing: today. What a gift. I was alive. I was breathing. The scent of coffee, yes, I was breathing it in, while against my shoulder my lover’s hand formed a cup. One more sip

of coffee and I decided. I would take the time, if only for an hour, to make art. Neglecting my fiction at the cost of a worse mood was too expensive.


For you, the answer might be hot yoga or a night without Facebook or a long, luxurious nap. The monotony of the work routine? The fog of stress? There might be a glimpse of life’s wonder to see, if I was ready to receive it, if I chose to be present, as I was for the flash of a sea creature’s white wings between the dappled reflections of the setting sun.

Melissa Gorzelanczyk,




Green Bay|Appleton|Neenah/Menasha|Oshkosh|Fond du Lac

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