As told by Maureen
Addie Brianne is content with life. She doesn't have any great ambition to be a dancer or a seamstress or a writer. She doesn't have urges to gather the largest strawberries or the sweetest nectar or the shiniest pebbles. She is just content to relax and to react to life as it passes before her.
Ah, but don't think that she is lazy. No, not for a moment. Above her front door, which opens to reveal a house full of collections of every kind, is a sign that says: THE FIRST THING TO DO IS TO SHOW UP. And this she does. Every day. With as many of her senses of sight and sound and touch and taste and smell as she can marshall together.
Her little house, which is built from tightly woven cattail rushes, hangs like a basket in the middle of a clump of willows. This clump of willows grows on the edge of a small farm pond where cattle come to drink, where a pair of Mallards yearly raise a brood of ducklings, and where the neighboring Irish Setter routinely comes to bark at crabs.
Because she has made it a habit to show up, she has been there to see the new calf get his first wobbly drink. She was present when the littlest duckling got swept through the drainage ditch by the sudden spring downpour, and she glimpsed the look in the Setter's eyes when he came face to face with the giant snapping turtle.
She shows up, and because she does, opportunities for learning and growth and amazement are continually hers. The other Pips are a bit jealous of her charmed life. But, you know, the funny thing is that even though they have visited her little house in the willows many times, none of them have seemed to notice the sign above her door that says: THE FIRST THING TO DO IS TO SHOW UP.
1995, 2006 by Maureen Carlson