One of the highlights of the holiday season is receiving gifts from my two children. In addition to being creative and thoughtful, they both possess an uncanny realization of what will be the most gratifying demonstrations of their love for me.

This year was no exception and my son, who apparently does extensive research before choosing his gifts, again displayed his support of my writing endeavors. This tasty morsel was a book of prompts, over 600 of them, on subjects to explore in my writing. What a wonderful idea! When I asked him how he could possibly uncover such a treasure, he modestly gave credit to the Internet.

Although I’m not stuck in some linear methodology that would require me to investigate these subjects in numerical order, I thought it fitting to choose the first one first. For the sake of not violating any copyright laws, I can say that the book is 642 Things to Write About, by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. They have compiled a fascinating, intriguing collection and their first prompt included things that can happen in a second.

Very few, if any, actions or thoughts require only one second. For the sake of respecting the concept, I will extrapolate one second to mean a very short period of time. On the negative side, this category will include a car accident, plane crash or armed robbery. Our personal experiences can make additions to this group. Household accidents, break-ins, explosions and bombings can all happen within a symbolic second.

If we take a look at the brighter side, we can fall in love at first sight (within a second?). Those of us who have treasured lifelong friendships can often identify those who are to be our friends within a very short period of time. We can reach understanding of a complex concept in a moment of absolute clarity. On occasion, we can stumble into opportunities to assist those in our paths. This can include rescuing a grocery cart so that someone else doesn’t have to walk it back. It can be inviting someone to check out ahead of us at a store. Or it can be picking up a check for someone at a restaurant.

My preference is to ponder those pleasant things that can happen in a second. For the moment, my gratitude is to the two young people who have made my motherhood magical. Shalom.

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