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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

I sometimes pet sit. One of the dogs I walk takes us through a moss-lined, wooded path under a canopy of green trees and climbing vines. A stream runs alongside. Ahead, near the wooden footbridge, slick with moss, I can hear racing water. Because the dog I walk is a hound, we frequently pause so he can conduct in-depth sniffs of particular odors. This gives me time to notice and enjoy to flowers, ferns, plants, orange-capped mushrooms and small wildlife. I see ducks, squirrels and untold numbers of birds. And insects beyond number.

Today I glanced back to where we’d come. It was a pretty view. Green moss rolled out like a carpet. Trees reached out, touching branches to form an arch. Ferns and flowers made countless bouquets and fallen flower petals formed a white trail, stark against the green. It made me want to go back that way instead of crossing the bridge to the road, like we normally do. I knew what was back there and it was pleasant.

And the whole event, which lasted maybe two minutes before the hound was done sniffing and investigating, got me to thinking. As writers, is it important to stop and think about where we’ve come from? At least once in a while?

 

Only we can tell about the path we’ve been on, first the road to publication and our journey since. We know how hard or easy it was, how long it took, how pretty of an experience or how painful and terrible. Knowing this, having the memories fixed in our minds, we tend to concentrate on the trail ahead.

Where do we want to see ourselves? Like the dog and I, we must cross the bridge and trudge up the road to reach his driveway and ultimately home. He has a bone and water waiting for him.  As a writer, I know where I want to me by the end of this year and where I hope to be five-ten and twenty years from now. I have a plan — a footbridge and road– to get me there.

However, as I reflected today, it might be wise to include some reflective study in that plan. Once in a while, I should pause on my writing journey and look back at where I came from. The awkward first starts, the endless queries and just as endless rejections, the first few acceptances. The high of the first time seeing my name in print. The author events, workshops, practice of my craft, networking and the people I have met, seeing my book on a library shelf for the first time, and the list goes on. All the great, wonderful, exhilarating and all the sad, heart-breaking and bad things that have made me the writer I am today.

And in two years or five years I will be a different writer then I am today.

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bird eggs 6-16-2015

I recently spotted these tiny little eggs at work. My first thought was they were the remains of newly hatched chicks. Upon closer inspection, I realized that was not the case. It was the other option…

It struck then, that when we see something, we can look at it in a few ways. First, the initial or obvious view. In this case broken eggs equal hatched chicks. But that was not the case. Here, broken eggs equal someone found lunch. So I mourned for the chicks who would never be born and for the birds who would not raise these young.

But such is the cycle of life. Now because some critter had a meal, perhaps their young will survive another day. Now, since my brain bounces in wacky ways, I naturally had to take this a few steps further.

Spoiler alert: I will probably wax a little philosophical now.

One option to view: we lay our eggs and wait expectantly for the results. Our eggs might be anything– job, marriage, kids, (or literally getting pregnant), new house/car/etc… or a host of other things. When our eggs are usurped by someone else and now will not hatch, we mourn, we get mad, plot revenge, pout, take someone to court, whatever. Simply, we react. Somehow.

Okay, we can try it again, lay more eggs and hope for the best Or we can give it up and find a new nest. Over the course of our lives, we all probably do both depending on the situations our eggs represent.

Now, what about the usurper, the one who took our eggs. Our job, our spouse, our kids, our desired plans? We can look upon them with disdain, hatred and the like. Or we can see the other option. They needed something to survive too. Maybe what they took wasn’t meant to be ours. Maybe it made a huge difference to them, like life or death. Yes, I might be getting sort of thick here, but maybe the job they got means they keep their house. Or the modest car they bought lets them get to the job. Or the kids ‘they stole’ are actually benefiting from new (and hopefully positive) influences.

So the next time we eagerly await for something and end up disappointed, remember maybe the second option you are experiencing, however painful, might be the better option. I have a quote on my desk I like: On the other hand, we have different fingers.

So very true and so very simply profound.

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Colors of the Rain

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Does the tree resent its leaves when they fall in the autumn?

Do the flowers frown upon their petals that drop with the cold?

Do the birds of the air chrill at their colorful plumage that molts with the cold evening air?

Does the river resent the drought that seeps away at her and dries up her banks?

Do I have the right to be angry with my body for one more act of mutany? One more thorn embedded into my side?

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I prayed, asking God for acceptance today. This is what He had to show me:

The tree stands bare, dormant all winter, naked, dead and still. But in the springtime, with the rains, buds burst forth. Seeds break through. Leaves grow. Soon it shall stand full and straight, in all its glory. But only for a season. Winter shall return one day and so shall the tree return to its dormant silence and nakedness.

The grass lies brown and dried, dead. In the springtime, life returns. It grows, turning green and lush. Mowers come and trim it back, keeping it short. Resolutely, it continues to grow. Thus the season’s cycle is complete. But only for a season. Winter returns one day and the grass ceases to grow, returning to the dull brown carpet of death.

Flowers wither in the cold, to bloom again in their season of plenty. Dressed in their bright colors, they cheerfully wave in the breeze and turn their faces to the sun. But only for a season. With the cold, they die again, until their next season.

Rivers run, tides ebb, all dependant on cycles and phases and the rains. Each one needing the other to complete its purpose for the time at hand. Before and ahead do not matter. It is the now that we count.

So it is with me.

Do you not see? the Lord asked of me. I need to make these things you see die back, go dormant and still, dry up, so that they may return later. Better, fuller, more perfect and beautiful. More appreciative of life when they have felt the lack of it. And so it shall be with you.

Isaiah 35: 3-7, Psalm 56:3, Psalm 28:7

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