Today I received ARC’s – Advanced Reader Copies of my book. My hands shook as I opened the priority package retrieved at the tiny Three Rivers post office located outside Sequoia National Park. I rub the soft matte cover, flip through the pages and marvel at the beautiful illustrations. Tears of joy and relief fall on these newly bound and printed “Uncorrected Galley Proof” volumes.
The cover picture has accompanied my husband Jeff and myself as we travel across the United States on a pre-book publication tour that coincides with our goal to visit all 59 National Parks. Jeff takes a picture of me with Change Maker’s book cover at each of the 14 National Parks and areas we are visiting this trip. The diversity of nature’s bounty, apparent at every national site is incredible.
Yesterday I read a quote by Sigurd F. Olson, wilderness advocate that hung at Lodgepole Market and Visitor Center: “The real significance of wilderness is a cultural matter… it has to do with the human spirit.” Change Maker describes multiple spiritual events that occurred when my brother David died. The book cover showcases three stunning trees. To receive ARCs, while camping at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, where over a thousand giant 1,800-year-old sequoia trees grow is incredibly synchronistic.
As a medically trained Occupational Therapist, it seemed fitting that today’s hike started at Hospital Rock where Shoshone Native Americans wintered in the 1860’s. A vision with the Shoshone’s is described in Change Maker.
Stunning cobalt blue dragonflies accompany us as we trek beside the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. Sun kissed red and black butterflies walk across luminescent rocks colored in deep browns, reds and gold. Their watering hole is lined with a dozen robin egg blue butterflies drinking from the edge. Jeff points to a mottled snakeskin basking in the sun. Dragonflies, butterflies and snakes are all classic symbols of metamorphosis. I reverently raise the newly shed skin to my heart.
On our return hike, Jeff hands me a beautiful beige and white feather, my personal sign of spirituality, that he found on this afternoon’s Paradise Creek hiking trail. Today has been paradise.
Thank you universe for the multiple confirmations of change. It has taken me 20 years to gain the courage to share my story. I am now ready.
Today I became an author.
Rebecca Austill-Clausen is a Reiki Master, speaker, Occupational Therapist, and award-wining author of Change Maker, How My Brother’s Death Woke Up My Life, available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indie bookstores nationwide.