By: Jen Russon
An ordained interfaith minister, Reverend Opal Murray, published a collection of poetry and affirmations entitled YES! I Am, which makes two books for the Tamarac resident.
As another Thanksgiving rolls around, Murray said she’s taking stock of not just things to be grateful for but hopeful for, too.
“What if we were to take time for quiet introspection and open our jar of hope, examine it, then ask ourselves what it is we truly want out of the life we hold in our hands right now?” said Murray.
This fall, she posed that question to her readers and friends at the Darshan Center for Spiritual Evolution, where she held her first book signing for YES! I Am.
The book is a collection of poetry, musings, affirmations, prayers, and quotes.
The 66-year-old said she hopes to do more signings before the year is over.
“I don’t really work, so much as volunteer, but I shudder to use the r-word,” Murray said regarding her retirement.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Murray holds a master’s degree in public administration and has worn many different hats, from banker to probation officer. She’s lived all over the world yet prefers to call South Florida home.
Murray said it wasn’t always such a charmed life.
There was a time when the Jamaican-born writer was sexually abused and without a home to call her own, struggling to find work.
Murray said she took that desperation, and like the lotus flower gracing the cover of YES! I Am learned what grows in mud and far away from the sun can eventually become beautiful.
She moved from Atlanta to the Mainlands of Tamarac community just over ten years ago, curating a site living our oneness that claims anyone can heal and become self-aware as she did.
Murray’s earlier book, I Am Precious: Nourishing Nuggets for the Heart; Genuine Gems for the Soul builds on the same themes that captured Pecan Tree Publishing’s interest in May.
The author said she’s so grateful, not just for a publisher based in Hollywood, Florida, but the graphic design artist who helped her add lotus flowers and the perfect shade of Egyptian blue to YES! I Am.
“I’m grateful for so many things — my friends here in Florida, not to mention having a beach to visit whenever I can— to see the sun kiss the horizon is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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