She spent much of her life reaching for the proverbial, but elusive, brass ring. Along her travels, she found many, but when placed in her hand they all would eventually lose their luster and became tarnished.
Then, one day, she looked in a most uncommon place for such a priceless item, and what she found was indeed different from anything she had ever known before. She dug deep and unearthed a discolored and dirty circle. When she lifted it to herself it gleamed and glistened in a special way that none of the brass rings of the past had ever done.
It was not until she no longer accepted the brass rings that belonged to others, and instead sought out and captured her own that she knew true happiness. Her charm was not made of precious metal that over time would dull, but rather of earth and stars that were as timeless as time. It was eternal and would make her heart shine in the same manner for all her days, and she searched no more.
Brenda Grace de Jong is the author of several short stories and pieces of flash fiction, along with her recently published book, "My Name is Elpee: A Trilogy". Ms. de Jong holds an M.S. degree in Human Services Leadership and Management and has worked with populations that include: victims of domestic violence, substance abusers, people affected by mental illness, individuals with HIV/AIDS and nursing homes residents desiring to return to the community.
With a minor in Women's Studies, Brenda has, for several years, set about the task of mentoring women in various capacities, especially in the areas of education and empowerment.
As a devout student of the Universe, Ms. de Jong maintains a daily vigil of sustaining and furthering her spirituality, especially within nature. She is an avid barefoot, tree-hugging, candle-lighting, ceremonialist, who conducts full-moon, solstice and equinox ceremonies, individually and with groups on Long Island and at her home on Fire Island.
Having lived both a very conventional existence followed by an unorthodox and checkered lifestyle, Ms. de Jong has been known, over a cup of tea, to share some of her secrets with certain people; other secrets, however, she will simply smile while thinking about, but will discuss only with those who helped make those stories. You can connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, and about.me.
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