Read issue 85 here.

Elizabeth Gilbert provided an intriguing description of contentment in Eat Pray Love when she identified it as a “bandit,” eluding all who chase it. It taunts and disappears when seekers get too close and she concludes, it isn’t something you can catch. You have to give up the pursuit and eventually it will come to you. Some of the authors in this issue have discovered the same truth. In these pages you’ll find nuggets of contentment and acceptance, along with examples of how our actions, and reactions, ripple outward, intersecting the lives of those around us.

Our featured essay is “My Mother’s Geranium” by AnnaLee Wilson. Desperate to learn more about her family’s history and the mystery disease impacting many of the women in it, the author began asking her aging mother questions in search of answers. This essay is the result of those inquisitive visits, the history she pieced together, and the significance of her mother’s red geranium.

Yearning for relief from the rigors of caring for her husband, a woman falls asleep dreaming about a tropical island and awakens to find herself transported to a magical isle of respite. She returns to her real life feeling rejuvenated and somewhat guilty that she enjoys this enchanting escape alone. “Laura’s Island” is a captivating story by Evelyn Arvey that leads to an unexpected destination.

“Naked Facebook Friday,” is a first-person narrative of the thrill of mania in all its boldness and how social media provided an avenue for the author, Nancy Deyo, to engage in risky behavior during one euphoric episode.

Told from the perspective of a young boy on the autism spectrum who struggles to communicate with his mom, “Tommy,” is sure to tug at your heartstrings. Written by Kale Bandy, the story chronicles one day in the life of an exasperated single mom and an idiosyncratic young boy who sees his mom’s pain and does his best to connect with her.

You won’t want to miss a page of this issue that includes the beautiful work of artist and entrepreneur Alana Ciena Tillman, powerful poetry, and more stories of strength, connection, and contentment. Summer is here for us to delight in, along with the insightful pieces we’ve selected. We hope you will enjoy reading this issue of Kaleidoscope as much as we did.